Jerry and Margaret Hodge withdraw proposed $10 million dollar donation for Texas Tech vet school

Jerry and Margaret Hodge
Former Amarillo mayor and Maxor National Pharmacy Services founder Jerry Hodge and his wife Margaret have withdrawn a proposed $10 million donation to Texas Tech University. The money was earmarked for the proposed Texas Tech vet school that the university hopes to build in Amarillo.

Hodge said the decision to withdraw the donation has to do the with the recent controversies involving former Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan and the Texas Tech Board of Regents. Most of Hodge's frustration is centered around the 5 regents who no longer had confidence in Duncan's ability to serve as Tech's Chancellor.

“I have not had one person say anything positive about the five Tech regents, I’ll tell you that.

“We’re all upset. The vet school is something the whole community is behind. I’m a rancher, too, and we need large animal vets.

“I think this vet school has a good chance if when these terms expire, the governor appoints some good regents.

“To me, it’s all about the vet school. I don’t care what those five regents have done publicly, I feel like they’ve done everything they can behind the scenes to stop it," Hodge said.

Texas Tech Interim Chancellor Tedd Mitchell provided a brief statement concerning the withdraw of Hodge's proposed gift to the university.

“Jerry Hodge has dedicated his life to the betterment of Amarillo, the Texas Panhandle and the entire state of Texas.

"Among his many civic endeavors, he was instrumental in helping establish our nationally ranked School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, working to garner the community support and critical funding needed to turn a big vision into reality.

"I am forever grateful to Jerry and Margaret and remain committed to working with them on both the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Pharmacy," Mitchell said.

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said the unoversity remains committed to the vet school despite the lose of the $10 million dollar gift.

“Jerry is still supportive of the vet school, very supportive. He said ‘I’m not prepared to give the gift at this time.’

“We loved Bob Duncan, but we also appreciate our board. There are two sides to this.

“We have to be focused on the legislative session. He said funding is needed for the vet school, a dental school and a mental health center.

“We continue to raise money for that school. We feel very good where we are with the vet school," Schovanec said.

Below is the full text of Hodge's email stating he and his wife were withdrawing the proposed $10 million dollar donation:

From: Jerry Hodge

Sent: Sunday, September 9, 2018 10:53 AM

To: ‘Kendra Burris’

Cc: ‘Margaret Hodge’; ‘Brian Heinrich’

Subject: Tuesday meeting

Kendra,

Margaret and I have been discussing our gift, and the Texas Tech Regents (5 of them).

I must tell you we are not happy at all. I don’t like to be called out of the blue by a reporter about our planned gift, [this] information had to come from an executive session. As you know, Chancellor Duncan is our friend and the reason we considered the gift. 

We were watching the A&M game last night, and we were pulling for Clemson. I said to Margaret, “What are we doing?” We have many Aggie friends (close friends). It is not the institutions, it is the people running both Texas Tech (the five regents) and A&M leadership, that is the reason we are upset.  We are both Texans, and should be for all Texas schools (except when they play Oklahoma).  It is a sad day to me, the turn of events.  I had lunch with Chancellor Sharp about six weeks ago, and he made a statement that let me know [that] he knew about our proposed gift. Again, it had to come from someone within Tech. Who? I can’t believe anyone on the staff would be talking to Sharp. Was it a regent? 

Kendra, this is by far the longest email I have written in my life, but will let you know how upset Margaret and I are.  Since the Regents have not acted on our gift, please accept this as our withdrawal of our offer for the time being. I plan on witting an open letter to the governor with no punches pulled. In short, being appointed regent is not like a federal judge… it is not a life-time appointment. 

I have already said too much, but with all that said, I don’t think we need to meet on Tuesday.  I am not sure what can be accomplished.

If you want to discuss feel free to call (not during the Cowboys game). Home: 806-XXX-XXXX. Margaret’s cell: 806-XXX-XXXX, or I’ll will be in the office in the morning. 

Jerry

PS: You can forward this to whoever you wish… this is mild compared to the open letter.

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