Alumna promotes wellness philosophy by funding scholarships for health and kinesiology students

DAWN CHANEY, Ph.D., ’63, ’66, ’70Stewarding one’s health is the key to helping others. That belief led Dawn Chaney to create opportunities for TWU students in fields ranging from exercise science and physical education to occupational therapy and sport management. 

The two Dawn S. Chaney Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship Endowments totaling $100,000 support students in the School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology. In recent years, students in the school have conducted research exploring equity issues in COVID-19 health responses, circadian desynchronization and much more.

"Whether it is developing NASA award-winning devices that improve space travel or analyzing the biomechanics of elite PGA golfers, our students are inspired by unique learning opportunities to make a difference in the world," said Christopher Ray, dean of the College of Health Sciences. "With philanthropic investments like the Chaney endowments, we will continue to forge bold new discoveries that not only elevate our legacy of educating outstanding health and wellness professionals but also enhance the human condition." 


The School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology is a national leader ranking among the top 10 online programs for bachelor's degrees in the health sciences. 

TWU kinesiology students also have bested the competition two years in a row at a NASA-sponsored design event. The team’s 2022 project was enhanced by adding a red therapeutic light to the device to further improve astronauts’ sleep quality. 

Graduates of the school go on to impressive careers. Bolstered by her Ph.D. in kinesiology with a sport management concentration, Lisa Langston ’10 said she is "a better manager, a better leader and a better critical thinker" thanks to her TWU education. 

"Every project I completed, every research paper I submitted was related to my role as an interscholastic athletic administrator," said Langston, director of athletics for the Fort Worth Independent School District. 


At the heart of Chaney’s decision to endow the TWU scholarships is her desire to expand educational opportunities at the woman-focused institution. Women, she said, "have to be able to hear and see the vision of what they can become." 

Although Chaney now focuses on managing a portfolio of investment properties — in addition to serving on a variety of community organizations in Greensboro, N.C., where she resides — she spent most of her career in higher education. 

Chaney’s gift to her alma mater is an extension of her lifelong advocacy for women’s education and health science. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical education from TWU. 


current TWU Health Sciences majors

Her continuing affinity for TWU is another impetus for the gift. When she first visited the Denton campus more than 60 years ago, she immediately fell in love with the atmosphere. What stands out to this three-time alumna all these years later is the vibrant intellectual exchanges "and the amount of interaction with faculty and students that was available for all of us." 

Due to her generosity, a new generation of TWU students will be enriched by that same spirit of collaboration and personal growth.

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