Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Amarillo Family Establishes Nursing Professorship, Three Scholarships at WT


CANYON, Texas — A $250,000 gift from an Amarillo family will fund a professorship and three scholarship funds for West Texas A&M University.

John and Nancy Kritser’s gift has established the Kritser Professor in Nursing, held by Dr. Collette Loftin in the Department of Nursing in WT’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The gift also provides scholarships for students in nursing, in agriculture through the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, and in business through the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business.

John Kritser is the president and owner of Yellowhouse Machinery Co., a John Deere construction equipment dealer with 11 dealerships in West Texas and Oklahoma. He also is a fourth-generation rancher in Potter County.

Nancy Kritser is a retired registered nurse who worked for Physicians Surgical Hospital, part of the BSA Healthcare System in Amarillo, for 19 years.

Her daughter, Suzanne Belcher Mascenik, graduated from WT in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and is now a surgical nurse with Corporate Centura Hospital Group in Denver.

“Continued growth and providing scholarships are essential for WT,” the Kritsers said. “Whether it’s in the College of Business, Department of Agricultural Sciences, or the Department of Nursing, the Panhandle deserves an institution that provides a superior education. We need to support WT and grow together.”

Loftin earned her master’s in nursing education from WT in 2006 and joined the nursing faculty in January 2007. She is interim head of the Department of Nursing and teaches classes in foundations and medication administration.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the Nancy and John Kritser Professorship of Nursing,” Loftin said. “This generous gift will enhance our efforts to further build the scholarly capacity of the WT Department of Nursing faculty and students. I am grateful for the Kritsers’ investment, which allows us to expand our scholarly and instructional activities in a variety of ways. Specifically, the resources provided by this professorship will enable faculty and students to create and implement impactful innovations to improve nursing education.”

This brings the total of endowed professorships in the College to 11, seven of which having been established since 2021.

Overall, since the launch of the One West campaign, nearly 60 new professorships and chairs have been endowed throughout the University—an increase of more than 200 percent during the campaign. WT will soon boast nearly 90 professorships, offering each additional funding for research, travel and more.

Inaugural scholarship winners are Caleb Silvey, a sophomore agribusiness major from Fritch; Carlos Manuel Ramos Garcia, a junior general business major from Amarillo; and Zane Chavez, a senior nursing major from Amarillo.

Agriculture, business and nursing are three critical programs in WT’s efforts to be responsive to the needs of the Texas Panhandle region, a key goal of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.


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