Nursing scholarship honors Davida M. Edwards

Nov 07, 2017 by

In the 1950s, Davida M. Edwards was asked by legendary TJC President Dr. Harry Jenkins to recruit the first class of nursing students for the Texas Eastern School of Nursing – the forerunner to TJC’s Associate Degree Nursing program.

Today, her family has established the Davida M. Edwards Nursing Scholarship Endowment in her honor. The endowed scholarship is open to Smith County high school graduates who have been accepted into TJC’s Associate Degree Nursing program.

A native Texan, Davida was a supervisor over 14 counties in East Texas for the Texas Education Agency. Because of her work with area high schools, she was a natural choice to help TJC attract the first class of graduating seniors to attend TJC as nursing students. That first class in 1951 would lead to a top-ranked program that today provides an important source of nurses for East Texas hospitals.

“She was a warm and giving person,” recalls her son, D.M. Edwards, a lifelong Tyler resident and local businessman who graduated from TJC in 1974. “She woke up every morning intent on doing what she could do to help others.”

A graduate of Texas Woman’s University and the University of Houston, Davida was active in civic and church work prior to her death in 1999. She taught at Roosevelt High School in Houston before working for the TEA as an area supervisor.

In addition to the scholarship endowment, an office in the Rogers Nursing & Health Sciences Center is named in her honor.

For more information on giving opportunities, contact the TJC Foundation at 903-510-2249 or



News, Summer 2017

About the author

Elise Mullinix is Tyler Junior College's Editorial Manager. She can be reached at 903-510-2370 or at