When New Jersey native Diane Teter is asked what brought her to Texas, her answer is quick and with a smile … "to find me a cowboy." And she did just that – at Baylor University in Waco, where she met tall, handsome Rick Teter, a graduate of Bryan Adams High School in Dallas.
Since graduating from Baylor, Rick with a degree in history and Diane with a double major in biology and English, the Teters have been moving hand-in-hand from one great adventure to another. They’ve operated a cattle ranch in East Texas, been part-owners of a ranch in northern Mexico, and studied nursing together at The University of Texas at Brownsville, where Rick also earned an M.B.A. and Diane an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in biology.
After deciding that Edinburg was “where the action is,” Rick and Diane moved up the Rio Grande Valley to begin new adventures in higher education. While he became an instructor in UT Pan American’s English Language Institute, Diane joined the faculty at South Texas College where she is now an associate professor of biology.
Though Rick retired from UTPA in 2005, he remains professionally active with the Educational Testing Service as a grader for the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
Filled with a tremendous zest for life and a deep appreciation for the Rio Grande Valley, the Teters now want to help others turn their own dreams into adventures. That’s why they plan to leave half of their estate to The University of Texas-Pan American to create the Xanadu R&D Nursing Scholarship Endowment.
What inspired the name of their endowment? Rick said that Diane has always loved Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan and his mythical Xanadu, a perfect place where dreams come true. “And,” Rick said, “R & D stands for Rick and Diane. So, there you have it, Xanadu R&D. This is our way of helping make others’ dreams come true.”
Because they want to help already practicing health care workers enhance their career opportunities, the Teters have chosen to restrict their endowed scholarship awards to nurses with at least two years of professional nursing experience, who have one degree, whether it be an LVN, ADN or BSN, and are seeking to enhance their career opportunities by obtaining a more advanced degree in nursing.
“We never had children of our own, so the nurses who will benefit from our scholarship endowment will be our legacy,” said the Teters.