The Robert M. Rogers Foundation Gifts $10 Million

July 18, 2022

‘Transformational’ gift addresses mental health care needs in East Texas

TYLER, Texas (July 18, 2022) – The University of Texas at Tyler announced a $10 million gift from The Robert M. Rogers Foundation to its School of Medicine to support mental and behavioral health education. In recognition of this gift, the university will name its department of psychiatry The Robert M. Rogers Department of Psychiatry.

“Transformational is the word that comes to mind when reflecting on this wonderful gift,” said UT Tyler President Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP. “Medical schools thrive on transformational gifts that can have a real impact on our students, our community and our state. This gift is an opportunity to impact the improvement of mental health across the Northeast Texas region, and The Rogers Foundation Department of Psychiatry is going to be something very special.”

A portion of the gift will be used to establish the Robert M. Rogers Scholarship and mental health curriculum in the School of Medicine. In addition, with the cross-disciplinary need for mental health education, the gift also supports faculty positions in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy. This support comes on the heels of an anonymous gift of $4 million earlier this year to support School of Medicine scholarships and faculty research.

The Rogers gift brings to fruition the hope expressed for years by Robyn Rogers, president of the foundation, and key community leaders to have a medical school to help address mental health issues in Tyler and East Texas.

“We hope we will have a lasting impact,” said Rogers. “The board voted unanimously to provide this gift to help our region, and anywhere else it is needed, in the mental health area.”

“This donation allows the School of Medicine to teach mental health differently,” said Dr. Julie V. Philley, UT Tyler executive vice president for health affairs and vice provost. “It’s going to allow us to develop courses and curriculum that changes the next generation of physicians and health care professionals.”

“This gift is transformational for the School of Medicine,” said Dr. Brigham Willis, founding dean of the School of Medicine. “One of our key endeavors is to improve behavioral health throughout the East Texas region. This gift allows us to have the educational, research and clinical resources throughout the region, and we can’t thank The Rogers Foundation enough.”

Others who are interested in making a gift to UT Tyler, or the School of Medicine specifically, may contact UT Tyler University Advancement at 903-566-7110 or visit