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Tobin lab
Margaret Batts Tobin Laboratory Building site

Tobin Endowment gives UTSA $1 million for chair

By Marianne McBride Lewis
Associate Director of Public Affairs

(Oct. 12, 2005)--Ricardo Romo, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio, announced today a $1 million grant from The Tobin Endowment to establish the Margaret Batts Tobin Distinguished Chair in Biotechnology as "an important next step" in UTSA's move toward premier research university status.

The Tobin Chair is being established in connection with the opening of the Margaret Batts Tobin Laboratory Building, a new state-of-the-art, 22,000-square-foot, $14 million research facility on the UTSA 1604 Campus.

"This gift from The Tobin Endowment will accomplish several objectives," Romo said. "It will further honor the late Mrs. Tobin, who was a University of Texas System Regent from 1947 to 1955 and whose family has made significant contributions to education in the State of Texas. It also builds the reputation of UTSA as a premier research university, thus attracting to the university more distinguished faculty who will contribute to the quality of our teaching and research. That, in turn, will add fuel to the engine that drives the $11 billion biosciences industry in San Antonio with a resulting significant impact on the city's economic development efforts."

Tobin attended the University of Texas at Austin and in 1947 was appointed by the governor to the university's Board of Regents. The daughter of a former chair of the Board of Regents, she became the third woman appointed to the board and served until 1955. During her time on the Board of Regents, the University of Texas at Austin dedicated Batts Hall -- named for her father -- on the Austin campus.

"The Tobin family's relationship with The University of Texas System extends for more than 100 years -- through the lifetimes of Mrs. Tobin, her husband, Edgar, and their son, Robert, and continuing with The Tobin Endowment," Romo said. "In November, we will open on our 1604 Campus -- on Margaret Batts Tobin Avenue -- the new laboratory building named after Mrs. Tobin. This facility will house a biosafety level 3 lab, which will assist in research investigation projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

J. Bruce Bugg Jr., chairman and trustee of The Tobin Endowment, said, "Leroy G. Denman Jr. and I, as trustees of The Tobin Endowment, are pleased to join UTSA in honoring Mrs. Tobin's service to the University of Texas System by establishing the Margaret Batts Tobin Distinguished Chair in Biotechnology. We are deeply appreciative to the University of Texas System's current Board of Regents and the efforts of Dr. Romo in honoring Mrs. Tobin and the great legacy of the Tobin family in our San Antonio community."

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