|The Roses' bequest has helped to make Texas State's Creative Writing program competitive with the best programs in the country|
W. Morgan and Lou Claire Rose:
Building the Creative Writing Program
An endowment, given by the W. Morgan and Lou Claire Rose Foundation of New Braunfels, is enabling the College of Liberal Arts to attract some of the nation's best writing students to its Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. The endowment provides one three-year $45,000 graduate fellowship and several scholarships for graduate students in the Creative Writing program.
W. Morgan Rose, a men's retailer, predeceased his wife, who died in 1997. Mrs. Rose was an unpublished but prolific novelist, penning eight novels in her last 10 years. Her love of reading and writing led to her long-term friendship with her attorney's wife, Mary Powell (1996 MFA-Creative Writing) of New Braunfels and eventually to the Roses' gift to the Creative Writing Program.
"Claire and I got to know each other at her husband's death," Mrs. Powell recounts. "We would have lunch and talk about books - she was an avid reader."
Two years after they met, Mrs. Powell entered the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Texas State. "Claire discussed and followed my program and my publishing," said Mrs. Powell, author of several published short stories and the novels Galveston Rose (2005) Auslander (2000). "She was interested in the school's ability to help a student writer to grow and publish."
Toward the end of her life, Mrs. Rose, who had no living family, asked Mrs. Powell and her husband to be the executors of her estate, which she wanted to leave as a charitable gift. She asked Mrs. Powell to help her choose a recipient, and Mrs. Powell suggested that she consider the Texas State Creative Writing Program, where her gift would make a significant impact.
"The program already had a good core of teachers and was attracting better and better writers, and I knew that Claire's assistance could help to make it competitive with the best writing programs in the country," Mrs. Powell said.
"All her life, Claire singled out young people to help, when they demonstrated talent and goals and the desire to work hard," Mrs. Powell continued. "I believe that she would be pleased to see how her gift has benefited the Creative Writing Program."