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Distinguished alumna honors sister with scholarship endowment

The Dr. Helen J. Ridgway and Dr. Mary E. Ridgway Scholarship Endowment was created by alumna Mary E. Ridgway, PhD ’71, ’74. This endowment is Ridgway’s third gift to Texas Woman’s University and is named in honor of her sister, Helen Ridgway, PhD.

“My sister was a genius,” Ridgway said. “She was seven years older and was my role model and mentor. Helen was just so humble.”

Helen Ridgway was a biochemist and remained one well into her eighties until she passed away. This endowment in her honor supports students pursuing their bachelor’s in chemistry and biochemistry with a certification from the American Chemical Society. 

Helen Ridgway, PhD, earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Baylor Research, now Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, before assuming roles as Chief of Chemistry and Head of Research at the Wadley Institute of Molecular Medicine. She then devoted 32 years to groundbreaking research efforts at the Wadley Institute.

Her findings on hemostasis coagulation, including significant contributions to interferon's early use in leukemia treatment, garnered global recognition through presentations at esteemed international conferences such as the International Congress of Chemotherapy in Prague and the International Society of Hematology Congresses.

Following her work at the Wadley Institute, Helen Ridgway relocated to Beaumont, Texas to serve as Head of Hemostasis at Helena Laboratories for 22 years, advancing medical diagnostics and laboratory practices. She remained a hemostasis consultant after her retirement until her passing six years later.

Texas Woman’s is immensely grateful to two-time alumna Mary E. Ridgway for her generosity and the establishment of a third endowment at TWU.