50 Heroes: Ray and Edna Stokes
“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.
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.
By Betsy Friauf At The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC), student career readiness is enhanced in myriad ways. One of the latest is microcredentialing. Microcredentials are competency-based, specialized certifications attesting that a student has mastered ...Read more
Jul 15, 2020
By Sally Crocker As virus rates continue surging nationwide, a growing number of people are getting tested for COVID-19, and many have important questions on what to do while they await results. According to Dr. Diana Cervantes, faculty epidemiologist with the HSC School of Public Heal...Read more
Jul 15, 2020
By Diane Smith The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth will be a new home and primary area of growth for CAGE Bio Inc., a privately held clinical-stage company, currently a resident company at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS@MBC BioLabs. The company is exp...Read more
Jul 14, 2020
During his tenure at HSC Fort Worth, Dr. Ralph Willard helped establish education, research and community service as the pillars that support the institution’s commitment to finding solutions for a healthier community, preventing disease and fostering a collaborative learning environment. T...Read more
Jul 13, 2020