Beeville foundation makes $5,000 gift to strengthen UHV Counseling Center

A program aimed at preventing interpersonal violence at the University of Houston-Victoria will get a substantial upgrade in educational materials thanks to a contribution from an area foundation.

The Dougherty Foundation of Beeville recently donated $5,000 to the UHV Victim Intervention and Prevention program. The program works with UHV students, faculty and staff to prevent interpersonal violence from occurring. This includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

“We are grateful to the Dougherty Foundation for the generous donation to the UHV Victim Intervention and Prevention program,” UHV counselor Elena Torres said. “We thank them for supporting the program and paving the way for us to purchase additional materials to continue this successful initiative.”

Torres said the money will be used to purchase books, videos and other informational items related to abuse prevention.

“This additional funding will allow us to provide helpful aids and DVDs to our students,” Torres said. “Having these resources at our fingertips will enhance what we can offer when students need assistance.”

James Robert Dougherty was an attorney, oilman and philanthropist. He was born in 1871 in San Patricio. He practiced law in Beeville, developed a silver mine in Durango, Mexico, and was instrumental in discovering a number of South Texas oilfields.

A decade before his death in 1950, Dougherty and his wife, Genevieve Tarlton Dougherty, established the Dougherty Foundation to aid youths obtaining an education. Due to changes in IRS rules, the Dougherty Foundation changed focus and has provided assistance in the areas of education, humanitarian aid and other charitable causes for the last four decades.

Representatives from the UHV Office of University Advancement approached foundation treasurer Daren Wilder to see if the board would be interested in making a gift. The foundation board consists of three trustees, all of whom are Dougherty family members.

“The Trustees are interested in assisting with education and providing humanitarian aid, and this gift goes hand in hand with both aspects,” Wilder said. “We’re pleased to be able to help out a nearby university and provide assistance to victim advocate and counseling services.”

The Victim Intervention and Prevention program started in 2012 and is housed within the UHV Counseling Center. Services include victim consultation, counseling and advocacy, such as finding local resources, accompaniment to hospitals and assistance in navigating the legal process.

“UHV is proud to be a student-centered university, and we are delighted that the Dougherty Foundation has partnered with us to support a program that is so essential to our students’ well-being and success,” said Greg Rutzen, UHV associate vice president for University Advancement and chief advancement officer.

Torres said many students have learned about the program and are using it when needed. The number of requests for assistance has exceeded her expectations.

“More students are aware of advocate and counseling services than ever before,” Torres said. “The more people know about it, the more we are helping with combating interpersonal violence.”

For information about UHV counseling services, contact Torres at 361-570-4135 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro