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Dr. Peggy Ingram and the University of What's Next?

Posted On: 04/02/2019


Dr. Peggy Ingram calls the University of Houston the University of What’s Next?

At every turn in her life, UH has been at her side helping her with her next move.

“Whenever I needed a class, a chance, some knowledge, a certain professor, a direction, some training, UH provided all of these and more,” Dr. Ingram said, addressing faculty at the College of Optometry.

Dr. Ingram was here to celebrate the joy of giving back as UHCO launched the Dr. Margaret Brown Ingram Endowment. The $50,000 endowment will provide funds for professional development for early career faculty, especially young women.

She relived her life’s experiences remembering her first arrival on campus in September 1965 and graduating four years later when she was carrying her second child. “This degree from UH gave me a teaching job, the chance to own a home and to tackle life!”

As the 70s rolled in, she needed the University of What’s Next to take a seminal course on “Women and the Workforce” at the School of Continuing Education. “America was changing, women were growing, questioning, speaking up about equality and I was part of this movement. I needed more knowledge and more facts.”

Fast forward a few years later, and she was back again! This time she wanted to pursue a Master’s in Counseling but changed her mind and returned in 1987 to the University of Houston Clear Lake to pursue a different master’s degree.

At every stage of her career, the University of Next was always by her side, ready and eager to help Dr. Ingram. She returned again to take classes in graduate level statistics to pursue her Ph.D. in Adult Leadership.

Dr. Ingram became nostalgic as she toured campus for the first time in several decades. Farrish Hall, the old buildings, the fountain, everything relived old memories. She said she was proud of the University’s growth.

An earlier conversation with her optometrist and a great supporter of UH, Dr. George Kaufman ’73 made her think seriously of giving back to the College of Optometry because of it’s impact and the difference it makes in the world.

Dean Smith thanked her and seven of her close friends who accompanied her to the endowment signing ceremony. Dr. Ingram and her family are no strangers to philanthropy and her family’s deep rooted commitment to Midland and other areas in Texas. Her late dad, Jack Brown Ingram and her mom, Frances gave the largest donation to the chemical engineering building, the Jack E Brown Chemical Engineering Building at Texas A&M.

“This is a targeted opportunity for young women faculty to continue their learning and career objectives and I am delighted to forge this relationship at What’s Next University” she said.

An avid collector of quotes, one of her favorites is from John Ruskin, the English writer and artist who said “The greatest reward for toil is not what we get for it, but what we become by it.”

And, the University of What’s Next was by her side every time she toiled to make a better life.

A complete description of Dr. Ingram’s talk at the UHCO endowment signing ceremony is available here.