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Mendelsohns Honored for Advancing Education, Supporting Teach for America

Pair Leverages Experience, Energy for Diverse Houston Organizations

M. D. Anderson News Release 10/20/08

When Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn arrived in Houston in 1996 from New York City, little did the city realize that it was getting a pair of enthusiastic community leaders whose diverse interests and contributions extended well beyond The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

M. D. Anderson President Dr. John Mendelsohn and his wife, Anne, will be honored together at Teach For America - Houston's annual benefit dinner on Monday, Oct. 20 for their many years of dedication to improving education in the area and supporting the organization.

The pair has been honored as a team six other times by both local and national organizations including the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Public Service Award, the Leadership Houston Distinguished Leaders Award, the Houston Technology Center Celebration of Entrepreneurs Award, the Guidepost Magazine Norman Vincent and Ruth Stafford Peale Humanitarian Award, the Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. Barrier Breaker Award and The Cancer League's Torch of Hope Award.

Teach For America - Houston was one of the first community organizations with which Anne Mendelsohn became involved when the couple moved to Houston. A board member for 12 years, Mrs. Mendelsohn has served as chair of the Houston Regional board, and also has been a member of the Presidents' Council of the national organization. Dr. Mendelsohn has been an avid supporter of education through his leadership of the city's largest academic medical institution organization, in addition to his strong support for Teach For America - Houston, contributing his time and ideas to a number of initiatives.

Both the Mendelsohns are strong advocates for education on all levels, from the urban and rural schools that the Teach For America mission embraces to the wide-ranging degree and professional training programs, competitive fellowships and community education events that M. D. Anderson Cancer Center champions.

The Mendelsohns agree that their own educations have significantly impacted their lives and professions, and they have impressed upon their three grown sons and eight grandchildren the value of study and school.

"Anne and I were very fortunate to have had exceptional educational opportunities and we are proud that here in Houston, Teach For America touches so many students and young teachers early in their lives," said Dr. Mendelsohn. "Education is one of our four primary mission areas at M. D. Anderson, and I have many opportunities to advocate for a variety of programs that mentor, teach, advance and inspire health care professionals and scientists."

Mrs. Mendelsohn added: "Because John and I believe so strongly in the power of education, we have become deeply committed to providing our time and resources to Teach For America - Houston which recruits so many of our nation's best and brightest young graduates to teach in our region's public schools."

The Mendelsohns have been active volunteers and advocates for a wide range of local not-for-profit organizations devoted to boosting the arts, education, business development, women's issues and science. While many of the organizations they support also complement the mission of M. D. Anderson, many reflect the varied personal interests of the couple.

"Anne and I are a team in everything that we do, and while we have different interests there is a great deal of crossover," said Dr. Mendelsohn. "We both believe strongly in giving back to the communities where we live and work, and we find great satisfaction contributing to the success of organizations that serve so many people." 10/20/08


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