Date: March 14, 2005
CONTACT: Sally Logue Post, sally.post@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK – A major gift from a Lubbock family will aid both young children learning to read and senior citizens facing the potential of Alzheimer’s disease.

The $1 million Don-Kay-Clay Cash Foundation Regents Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research will assist the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Garrison Institute on Aging in building a team of world-class researchers who will identify early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, develop prevention strategies and work to discover new treatments.

The $500,000 Don-Kay-Clay Cash Foundation Regents Endowed Professorship in Reading Education will enable the Texas Tech University College of Education to attract a nationally known scholar in the field of literacy. The professorship will become an integral part of the college’s Language Literacy master’s and doctoral programs.

Don and Kay Cash and son Clay are all graduates of Texas Tech University.

“Texas Tech is our favorite place to give because it gave Kay, Clay and me the opportunities for successful careers,” said Don Cash. “By supporting the reading literacy program and a program for early detection and prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s, we are reaching both ends of the spectrum, the young and the old.”

Kay Cash’s mother and Don’s father suffer from dementia and are residents of the Garrison Center.

“Dementia is a mind thief,” said Kay Cash. “It is our hope that by funding this research, it can provide answers for early diagnosis, prevention and a cure.”

Clay Cash said his wife Ashley lost a grandparent to dementia and that watching his own grandparents has been difficult.

“I do not want my mom and dad or anyone’s mom and dad to forget who they are because of Alzheimer’s. That’s what this disease does, it steals one’s being,” he said.

The gifts are matched under the Regents Faculty Endowment Program with existing university funds to create named professorships and chairs. The program is part of the university’s goal of recruiting and retaining quality faculty members.