October 24, 2012
From: Laura Clark
Director of Media Relations
ULM remembers Kitty DeGree
Kitty DeGree's dedication to the University of Louisiana at Monroe ensured the remarkable progress of several university programs and facilities.
An honored donor and philanthropist, Kitty will be missed, said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno.
"The university community is deeply saddened by the passing of Kitty DeGree. Kitty was a humanitarian of remarkable character and profound generosity,” he said.
“Over her lifetime, Kitty was the largest individual donor to ULM. Her generosity benefited both faculty and students through substantial gifts that have established scholarships, endowed professorships, and an endowed chair. Her vision and generosity will forever benefit future ULM generations."
Kitty’s capital gifts include: the Kitty DeGree Computer Center, which is the key student resource area of the Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center; the Kitty DeGree Pharmacy Student Resource Center/Library; and the Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center.
When the president’s former home—now known as University House—was moved to allow the building of the new library, Kitty funded its refurbishment, which has accommodated dignitaries from all over the world.
DeGree also provided funding for the focal part of the University Library and Conference Center, including the entry tower, which houses a massive clock and bells whose majestic chimes are heard campus-wide.
The Kitty DeGree Bell Tower is now an icon and one of the official university logos.
In May 1989, the university conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree to Kitty, and in 2009 Kitty was named a Trustee Emeritus member of the ULM Foundation Board.
She also received the inaugural Hall of Distinction Award in 2004, which is the university’s most prestigious award recognizing those who have honored ULM through a lifetime of distinction and exemplary service, and in support for, or promotion of the university.
Also befitting her exceptional generosity, the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees voted to name the university’s major gifts recognition society, the Kitty DeGree Bell Tower Society.
Membership in the society is based upon the donor’s lifetime giving to the university and begins at the $50,000 level.
After an additional seven-figure gift to the university, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved the naming of the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing in June.
Kitty devoted her life to supporting entities that significantly benefit the entire Northeast Louisiana community, and ULM is honored and proud to call her one of its own.