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Jenna C. Taylor

Karen K. Kaplan,
Assistant Vice President
of Public Affairs
Director of University
Publications and Design
Chief Communications Officer


Cynthia J. Johnson, PhD
Director of Development Communications

Kevin J. Foyle, MBA, CFRE
Vice President
for Development

Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation Supports Early Childhood Development

Susan Landry

Susan H. Landry, Ph.D.

Charles A. Williams and Randa Duncan Williams were first introduced to the Children's Learning Institute (CLI) when they sought help for their son Harrison's learning differences. They were so impressed by the professionalism, expertise and commitment to excellence of each CLI faculty and staff member they could not help but become involved themselves.

"When Harrison was evaluated for learning differences by a staff psychologist at CLI, I had the wonderful opportunity to not only learn how to best help our son, but also how CLI was helping children of all socio-economic classes and educational levels learn and excel," said Randa, Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation vice president and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board member.

Randa quickly became more involved and is working to create a strong base of philanthropic support for CLI.

"While CLI has a strong base of state and grant funding, philanthropic support is vital to accomplish the goals of the Institute. It became clear to us that the first step to helping CLI recruit, retain and reward high-quality faculty and staff would be to create an endowed position for the leader of CLI, as excellent leadership inspires and recruits excellent faculty and staff," said Charles, Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation president.

The newly established Albert and Margaret Alkek Chair in Early Childhood Development was established by the foundation in honor and recognition of the excellent leadership of CLI's founder and director, Susan H. Landry, Ph.D., Michael Matthew Knight Memorial Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

CLI's goal is to create a quality learning environment for all children through classroom curriculum, teacher mentoring, clinical programs and applied research. In addition, CLI is committed to helping children build a strong educational foundation that will serve them the rest of their lives.

"Dr. Landry and CLI are making a significant difference in the future of early childhood education, and in the lives of the children impacted by their work and it was a natural fit for the Alkek Foundation to help foster their mission by establishing this chair," said Charles. "The Alkek Foundation has a strong commitment to furthering the fields of medicine, education and most of all, supporting the community. The work of CLI is rooted in scientific research, focused on the future of education and benefits the future of our community - children."

"I am deeply grateful for the continued support of the Margaret and Albert Alkek Foundation, and Randa and Charlie Williams," said Landry. "The establishment of the Margaret and Albert Alkek Chair in Early Childhood Education provides for the future of CLI and allows the Institute to bring together the best and brightest from the fields of medicine, education and child development."

By Jenna C. Taylor, Institutional Advancement