Artie Limmer/Texas Tech University System
David Porras walks across the courtyard of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas.
Community leaders in El Paso, Texas, had been discussing the need for a medical school for five years when David Porras survived a major heart attack.
Despite his wife’s suggestion that he retire, Porras felt his community was close to making their medical school dream a reality, and he wanted to help.
Texas Tech wasn’t far behind.
Committed to building a four-year medical school in El Paso, the Texas Tech University System secured the Texas Legislature’s approval and established the state’s first new medical school in 30 years.
Porras committed to a $10,000 gift as a way to invest in the fledgling medical school, create education opportunities for young El Pasoans and give back to Texas Tech.
“I’ve worked here for more than half of my life,” said Porras, who serves as managing director for Administrative Services for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. “What better way is there for me to give back to an institution that has given me the opportunity to live a life I love.”
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s El Paso campus has become a catalyst for local economic growth, thanks to the vision and support of people like Porras.
In 2009, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine welcomed it’s first class of students and became the first four-year medical school in the U.S. located on an international border. Last year the administrators approved the creation of the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, which will further expand regional access to health care and education.
All together, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center delivers an annual impact of $1.5 billion on the local economy, according to estimates by Texas Tech and the City of El Paso. Porras sees that as a solid return on his investment.
But the importance of training new doctors and nurses to serve his community outweighs any economic benefits of giving.
“One of these days, one of these people may save my life or the lives of my loved ones,” said Porras. “You can’t put a price on that.”