Former UH System regent to gift home to UHV
Nov. 12, 2014 at 10:54 p.m.
Updated Nov. 13, 2014 at 5:17 a.m.
In Dorothy Alcorn's eyes, a president's home would be a great gift to the University of Houston-Victoria.
Her plans to leave her home to the university for that very purpose were announced Tuesday during the university's annual report event.
UHV Interim President Vic Morgan said Alcorn, a former UH System regent, will donate the home to the university upon her death.
"We felt it was a perfect way to help the university as a great recruiting tool for a president and great place to entertain and host those cultural and academic events that she loved," said her son Charles Alcorn III, 52, on her behalf.
In 2006, while he was the managing editor of the series he and Jeffery Di Leo hosted the first reception for the American Book Review Series at the a one-story, ranch-style home in Hidden Meadows.
"Mom is a very good hostess, and it was an exciting start of what has become a treasured and cultural reading series," Charles Alcorn said.
That year Graciela Limon and more than 100 guests filled Dorothy Alcorn's home to kick off the series. It soon became a tradition for the Alcorns to host receptions at that home including one of the most recent events when Amber Dermont spoke at UHV.
The home has also been used on other UHV and community events and fundraisers, said Alcorn. The decision to donate the home to the university was one he said his family mulled over for about three years before his mother came to the decision to gift the estate to the community.
"We talked about donating it as a president's residence and Mom decided it was exactly what she would like to do," he said. "We could have sold it or moved into it. This is the best use for the house. What an ideal situation and ideal use for this property."
That first event set the bar for all the other events ABR receptions, Alcorn said. It served as a way for the visitors and UHV supporters to experience Victoria hospitality, he said.
The ABR Series ranks amongst Morgan Dunn O'Connor's favorite events in Victoria. She is a former member of the UH System regent, and one of the former residents of the home the Alcorns bought in 1974.
She was delighted to know the home she shared many memories in would continue to serve a purpose that she and her parents cared so much about.
"UHV is very special to me, and my parents were huge proponents for higher education. They believed strongly in higher education and spent a lot of their life supporting it. It's a perfect fit for that house," O'Connor said.
She said it was a fitting role for the home as Alcorn had a love of reading and literature. O'Connor enjoys attending the receptions at the Alcorn home and hopes they will continue when the next president is appointed and moves into the home.
"It was a great place and venue for those receptions, the house was designed for entertaining and so the ABR receptions have always been exceptional," she said. "(Dorothy Alcorn) has been a huge champion for UHV and UHS."
Alcorn said he expects the home where he also spent much of his life will serve as a place where the university's next president can continue to grow the institution into a larger campus.
"We're thrilled with the concept of a destination university - it deserves a president's residence of this caliber," he said. "She is so keen on seeing UHV succeed in its goal of becoming a destination and host 6,000 residential students. It will have a positive effect, and she's thrilled with the legacy."