50 Heroes: Ray and Edna Stokes

May 18, 2020

Stokes Web

“Hard-working” and “dedicated” are two words used to describe The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine’s first two employees, Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Edna Stokes.

Mr. and Mrs. Stokes began working at TCOM in the spring of 1969 and held a variety of positions within the college until their respective retirements. Their passion for TCOM was instrumental in the college’s success in its infancy and helped TCOM grow into the bustling Health Science Center we see today.

TCOM first opened its doors in a bowling alley in 1970 thanks to the tireless effort of Mr. Stokes, TCOM’s first employee, and the college’s Director of Development.

He searched all over Fort Worth for a place for TCOM to call home before classes began but came up short until the then Tavener Playdium Bowling Alley became available. And so the purchase and renovation process began, allowing TCOM to officially open its doors and welcome the first 20 students in the fall of 1970. Mr. Stokes celebrated his employer with pride and even donned a license plate that read, “TCOM-1.”

Like her husband, Mrs. Stokes’ love for TCOM ran deep. She was hired to serve as the college’s first bookkeeper and later became a clinic manager. Although she retired earlier than her husband, she was very much looking forward to staying associated with TCOM through her husband. Wherever Mr. Stokes was, Mrs. Stokes was standing by his side, supporting him. This support is evidenced in archived photos from TCOM’s early years.

Even after their retirement, their support for TCOM did not waver. They established the Ray and Edna Stokes Scholarship to help support a 4th year TCOM student who has a desire to practice primary care in the state of Texas. And Mr. Stokes continued to honor TCOM by writing a book about the school’s first twenty years of history.

Mr. and Mrs. Stokes’ legacy continues at HSC through their student scholarship and a boardroom named in their honor.

50th Anniversary Logo

ContributeHonor your HSC hero today! Please make a tribute gift, submit a photo or share a story that you value.

Join us throughout 2020 as we celebrate the people, events and innovations that made UNTHSC all it is today — and look ahead to the next 50 years.

For the 50th anniversary, team members nominated people whose contributions make them HSC Heroes. Each week, a new Hero will be revealed.

View the list of all our Hero profiles published so far this year. There is a new one each week.

Hsc Tcom Gold Humanism Society Inductees Fc
TCOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomes new inductees 

By Steven Bartolotta The humanistic side of medicine is alive and well at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The TCOM Chapter of the Arnold P Gold Foundation inducted 45 students and four faculty members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society on the campus of The University of North Texas H...Read more

Jun 15, 2021

John Licciardone Hsc Fort Worth Fc
eHealth interventions could help African-American patients in battle with chronic pain

By Steven Bartolotta The PRECISION Pain Research Registry at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth has identified important racial disparities in pain management that became more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its study recently published in the special COVID...Read more

Jun 14, 2021

Diana Cervantes. Assistant Professor Biostatistics & Epidemiology
Dr. Diana Cervantes named among Fort Worth’s ‘most influential’ for public health service during the pandemic

By Sally Crocker Dr. Diana Cervantes has spent the last year keeping people informed and updated on all things coronavirus, and now she’s being recognized as one of Fort Worth Inc.’s “400 Most Influential People” for helping protect the community’s health during the pandemic. Dr....Read more

Jun 8, 2021

Opal Lee photo by Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Commemorating Juneteenth

By Diane Smith-Pinckney On June 19 1865, Major General Gordan Granger marched into Galveston with a critical message: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”  This was the opening se...Read more

Jun 8, 2021