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Tom ChismTom Chism Memorial Scholarship

Tom Chism Memorial Scholarship

In a distinguished career spanning three decades at The University of Texas at El Paso, Tom Chism left an indelible mark on the students he taught, the faculty and staff he worked with and the University he served.

Straight out of seminary college, Chism joined Texas Western College (now UTEP) in 1956 as chairman of the Department of Religion and director of the Baptist Student Union, where he gained the respect and admiration of the students he mentored.

Before retiring from UTEP in 1992, Chism went on to serve as director of student activities and of special academic services. This established the foundation for support services and programs at the University that continue to benefit students today, such as new student orientation, recruitment, study skills and tutorial programs, and the International Student Office.

Yet of all his accomplishments, Chism was very proud of the role that he and Texas Western College (TWC) faculty members Ralph Lowenstein and Rabbi Floyd S. Fierman had in helping to desegregate the city of El Paso in 1962. For two years, Chism, Lowenstein and Fierman were part of a committee that worked on legislation to end racial segregation in the city.

Chism died at age 84 on Feb. 9, 2013, after a yearlong struggle with cancer; yet, his legacy will continue to make a difference in the lives of students at UTEP. The Tom Chism Memorial Endowed Scholarship will benefit students in UTEP's School of Nursing

Chism’s daughter Judy Malazzo described her father as a man with a servant’s heart. When he became ill, Chism was more concerned about the nurses who cared for him than about his own health. Malazzo said it was quite fitting that a scholarship in her father’s name was established in the School of Nursing because it is a place that prepares students to go out and help others. The scholarship was established by an anonymous donor with support from the Chism family and Chism’s former students.

The first scholarship was awarded to a deserving nursing student during the 2015-16 academic year. To qualify, students must be enrolled at the University full time and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

By Laura Acosta, UTEP News Service.

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