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ULM Foundation honors legacy of Kitty DeGree at Community Impact Reception, announces new endowment

Published March 22, 2024

Kitty Degree 2024

CAPTION:ULM Foundation Director Susan Chappell and ULM Foundation Past President John Jones announced the creation of the Kitty DeGree University Priorities Endowment at a recent Community Impact Reception honoring DeGree’s legacy.  

MONROE, LA – The ULM Foundation held a Community Impact Reception on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, to honor the legacy of longtime ULM donor Kitty DeGree. Representatives from many local non-profits and foundations were on hand to speak about the impact of DeGree’s philanthropy over the years, both personally and through her foundation.  

John Jones, Past President of the ULM Foundation, announced the creation of the Kitty DeGree University Priorities Endowment. “This endowment gives the ULM President discretion about how to use the funds,” said Jones. “This fund will go on giving for a long, long time,” he added. The Kitty DeGree University Priorities Endowment was created with funds donated upon the closing of the Kitty DeGree Foundation, which had existed for many years and impacted countless community initiatives through local non-profits and foundations.  

Additional speakers included Aimee Kane, President of the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation, Janet Durden, President of United Way of Northeast Louisiana, Donna Jackson, Assistant Director of the Louisiana Cancer Foundation, Dawn Landry, Development Director of the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum, Sue Nicholson, retired President and CEO of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, and Anne Lockhart, former President and Secretary of the Kitty DeGree Foundation.  

“Kitty DeGree tremendously honored all who loved her with her friendship, her wisdom, her insight, and her generosity,” said Lockhart. “I feel her smiling down on us tonight as we celebrate everything she has provided for our community, our university, and our lives,” she added.  

Kitty Degree (1922-2012) is the largest single donor in the history of the University of Louisiana Monroe. She was instrumental in the building of the University Library, and its most recognizable feature is named the Kitty DeGree Bell Tower. DeGree has also been honored by ULM with the naming of the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing and the accompanying Kitty DeGree Hall, as well as the Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center.  

“We know that her purpose and her mission will continue through this endowment,” said ULM Foundation Director Susan Chappell.