For more than half a century, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has supported organizations working to improve life in Deep East Texas. The foundation was founded by Georgie Temple Munz to give back to the communities where the Temple family built their timber business. It remains as true to that commitment today as it was in 1962.
This is a humbling once in a lifetime opportunity--to lead a foundation with the reputation of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. I’m particularly inspired by the foundation’s commitment to Deep East Texas. That commitment is what brought me back here. Kilgore, in Rusk County, was my childhood home, and my family is a rural family going back generations. I am looking forward to working with communities like Kilgore to build a thriving Deep East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunities for all.
In 2016, our trustees reflected on the foundation’s past and their vision for the future of East Texas. In the process of reflection, they reaffirmed the foundation’s dedication to Deep East Texas. They want to build on the foundation’s history and address some of the region’s most pressing current challenges. They realize that to make Deep East Texas a thriving region for everyone who lives here, we need to focus on those who are too often left behind. Far too many Deep East Texans live in chronic poverty. The foundation is committed to helping break the cycle of poverty, recognizing that solutions to this complex problem will be multifaceted and interrelated: high quality education, economic opportunities, strong communities, access to health care and preventative programs. We believe communities are often the source of solutions, so we will prioritize working alongside communities and families.
Rural communities are under-resourced and face many unique challenges. Deep East Texas also has many assets, though, which we will continue to build upon: strong leaders, residents with a passion for improving their communities, and a network of nonprofit and public agencies dedicated to serving this region. We have ambitious goals we cannot possibly achieve on our own. That is why we will be placing a greater emphasis on partnership and collaboration as we look for ways to work with others to achieve shared goals. As a private foundation, we can play a unique role in raising awareness about the needs and opportunities in this region, bringing people together to define problems and identify solutions, and leveraging other support. We plan to use all the means at our disposal to strengthen this region.
This is an exciting new chapter for the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. We look forward to working with you toward our vision for a thriving Deep East Texas.
Wynn Rosser, Ph.D.
President & CEO
President & CEO