The Board of Trustees of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) is pleased to announce the naming of the Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk and Robert M. Woolfolk School of Communication Sciences and Disorders on
its San Antonio campus.
The naming recognizes OLLU alumna Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk's achievements as a leader in the field of communication sciences. She has dedicated her professional life to the study of language theory and assessment and is internationally recognized as a scholar, author of a dozen books and language tests, clinician and researcher in the field.
Woolfolk, a native of Houston, Texas, is the author of multiple editions of the Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL™), the Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS™) test, the Test
for Auditory Comprehension of Language (TACL™) and co-author (with Amber Klein, PhD) of the Oral Passage Understanding Scale (OPUS™) assessment. She is the author of An Integrative Approach to Language Disorders in Children (with Joan Lynch), Theory, Assessment and Intervention in Language Disorders: An Integrative Approach, and, Learning to Read. She served six years as editor of the Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, has written a number of book chapters, and has had many articles published in professional journals. She has served on numerous committees of the American Speech, Language & Hearing Association and of the Texas Speech & Hearing Association, having led the latter organization as president.
After graduating from OLLU, she earned a master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin and a doctoral degree at Northwestern University In Evanston, Illinois. After founding and leading for 19 years the communications sciences and disorders program at OLLU and its Harry Jersig Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, she continued her work at Baylor Medicine. She then founded speech pathology services at Methodist, St. Luke's, and Texas Children's Hospitals in Houston. Woolfolk has received the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Our Lady of the Lake University.
Further, the naming of the Woolfolk School recognizes a historic gift commitment recently announced by the Woolfolk family. Roy D. Terracina, chairman of the OLLU Board said, "Our Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni are very grateful for this significant investment in the future communication sciences and disorders at Our Lady of the Lake University. The Woolfolk's generosity, kindness and vision for our program make a statement to Texas and the nation: the education of tomorrow's leaders in communication sciences and disorders and the services delivered through our clinic will be a national model."
Dr. Woolfolk said, "I am grateful for the opportunity of giving back to my profession a portion of what it has given me -- through the excellence of its academic instructors and through the scholarly influences of the researchers and clinicians whom I call colleagues and friends."
Robert Woolfolk is a retired chemical engineer and graduate of Tulane University whose career is marked by a number of innovations in offshore gas production that significantly impacted economic and environmental factors worldwide. After retirement, he became an entrepreneur in the oil and gas industry and in managed healthcare, as well as an author. The Woolfolks reside in Houston.
OLLU President Diane E. Melby, EdD, said, "A very important piece of this naming and this magnificent gift is that Dr. Betty Woolfolk established this program and clinic almost 60 years ago at the university, and today she is still a leader in the field. Betty and Bob are committing to making this one of the leading programs in the nation."
Over the years, the Woolfolks have generously supported Our Lady of the Lake University through gifts related to scholarships, lecture series and events, the rebuilding of Main Building after the 2008 fire, and the establishment of the Woolfolk Chair in Communication Sciences.
In 2016, the couple established the Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk and Robert Moore Woolfolk Charitable Trust. Subsequently, the Woolfolks plan to fund a number of innovative initiatives in communication sciences and disorders at OLLU in order to prepare professionals for the future and serve the needs of clients in the clinic. At present, the Woolfolk School offers undergraduate and master's degree students preparation for careers in speech-language pathology and attracts a very competitive national pool of applicants.
Through the generosity of the Woolfolks and the long-range vision of Elizabeth and Robert Woolfolk, the Woolfolk School will enhance its current offerings, establish a doctoral level program, and the Woolfolk Center for Research in Language Disorders. The school will position itself, its work and its graduates nationally as playing important roles in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
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