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.
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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.