Friends of Science Park
The Friends of Science Park is an appointive board that assists the Director of the Science Park and works within the organizational structure of the MD Anderson Cancer Center and its Board of Visitors and The University Cancer Foundation. The purpose of the Friends of Science Park is to further the mission of the Science Park by all available means with emphasis upon public relations and financial assistance through encouraging gifts, grants and bequests. All efforts are in concert with the objectives of the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The organizational meeting of a group of eight prominent citizens of Bastrop County was held in the Conference Center of the Science Park on September 25, 1984. Mr. Francis "Babe" Shirocky served as Chairman, and the Charter Members included Mr. Jack Griesenbeck, Mr. Cecil Long, Mr. Paul Welch, Jr., Mr. Warren Higgins, Mrs. Silky Crockett, Mr. Yerger Hill, and Mr. T. K. Dixon. The initial topics discussed were MD Anderson's Annual Campaign and the desire for the development of a conference facility. Mr. Shirocky served as the first Chairman of the group and throughout its developing years. His term ended in 1988.
Efforts to restructure the Friends of Science Park into a more organized, active, and dynamic board were initiated in June 1988. A committee was appointed to examine the Bylaws of the Board of Visitors of the University of Texas System Cancer Center and to prepare an outline for recommendation to the members of Friends of Science Park. The Friends approved the proposal, and it was subsequently approved by the administration of MD Anderson Cancer Center. On September 1, 1988, the new structure for Friends of Science Park was in place. Since that time, the organization has continued to grow under the leadership of chairpersons serving one-year terms. They have included Dr. Earl Walborg, Mrs. Silky Crockett, Mr. Charlie Jones, Mr. Steve Rivers, Mayor Vernon Richards, Mr. Jack Chance, Mr. Douglass Nichols, Mrs. Eleanor Mutschink, Mr. David Weir, Mr. Wallace Lundgren, Mr. Jim Cowan, Mrs. Elaine Seidel, Mr. Derek Van Gilder, Mr. Brad Hurta, Ms. Gina Chronis, Mr. Mark Lehnick, Mr. Lynn Frerich, Mr. Tex Middlebrook, Mrs. Nancy Fritsche, Mrs. Lenel Tamez, Dr. Roger Hewitt, Mayor Renee Blaschke, Mrs. Gwendolyn Watkins and Mr. Reed Morgan.
Friends of Science Park members reside in many Central Texas communities. This group continues to promote the Science Park throughout the area and to energetically address the many needs of the institution and its staff. The Friends of Science Park currently meet quarterly on campus for a luncheon and program presentation by one of the faculty or an institutional representative.
At the March 2010 Friends of Science Park meeting, Ken Blaschke, Silky Crockett, and Jack Griesenbeck were granted Honorary Membership. Honorary Membership is reserved for persons who have made substantial contributions to the advancement of the Science Park through their leadership, service or financial contributions.
2012-2013 Executive Committee
OfficersChairperson - Mrs. Renee Blaschke
Chairperson Elect - Mrs. Adena Lewis
Vice Chairperson - Mrs. Cherrie Pullium
Secretary - Mrs. Elaine Seidel
Immediate Past-Chairperson - Mr. Reed Morgan
Standing Committee ChairpersonsMembership
Financial Assistance - Mrs. Linda Wilson
Governmental Relations - Mr. Tommy Higgins
Fundraiser - Mrs. Adena Lewis, Mr. Dennis Snyder, Mrs. Catherine Miller
Mrs. Terri Krueger (ex officio)