Wichita State News

Speech-language-hearing clinic dedicated by WSU Foundation

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Evelyn Cassat
Evelyn Cassat
A portion of the $8.5 million estate gift from Evelyn D. Cassat, announced in May 2008 by the Wichita State University Foundation, was realized during the dedication of the Evelyn Hendren Cassat Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic Sept. 20.

“We continue to be amazed at the forethought of Evelyn Cassat,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO, “and three years after the announcement of her estate gift, we stand proud to honor her vision and her memory.”

Dedication speakers were King; Kathy Coufal, chairperson and professor of communication sciences and disorders; Peter Cohen, dean of the WSU College of Health Professions; James Rhatigan, WSU Foundation consultant; and WSU President Don Beggs.

“If Mrs. Cassat were here today,” said Coufal, “I would join with our faculty, staff, students and community to thank her for her wisdom, vision and generosity.”

Expansion and renovation

The clinic’s expansion and renovation has resulted in additional rooms, computer networks and general accommodations.

The additional three individual treatment rooms bring the total to 18.

A large multipurpose room will accommodate groups of children, and a large adult treatment room also will serve as a conference room for interdisciplinary consultation, parent education and staffing.

Observational space and upgraded remote observation through networked computer monitors has been included in the renovation, in addition to better accommodations throughout for consumers, staff and students.

One special addition that provides a much needed service to the community is the assistive technology center. This area allows individuals the opportunity to test a variety of assistive devices that can enhance their hearing and improve the quality of their lives.

Devices include ones that alert hearing-impaired individuals to a ringing phone, doorbell or fire alarm that they might not otherwise hear. There also is technology that allows the use of a cell phone or other audio device that a hearing aid alone does not accommodate. The center also will include assistive communication devices that provide alternatives to spoken language.

Kathy Coufal
Kathy Coufal
“We are honored to contribute to and promote the vision of the Evelyn Hendren Cassat Clinic,” said Coufal, “promoting effective communication for all persons as a human right.”

» Click here for a history of WSU's Communications Sciences and Disorders Department.

Rhatigan met Cassat and her husband, Paul, in 1998 and developed a warm relationship with them. He became a close confidant to Cassat after her husband’s death Nov. 21, 2002. Cassat died Sept. 9, 2007.

“Mrs. Cassat was a very intelligent woman and an expert investor,” said Rhatigan. “One of her investments through the WSU Foundation — the vision for an expanded clinic offering state-of-the art services — has come to fruition. Far into the future we will continue to see the opportunities she has afforded to students, faculty, staff and this community.”

The Cassat gift also was marked for endowed professorships, faculty development and the WSU Regional Institute on Aging.

» Click here for a history of Paul and Evelyn Cassat.

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Created on Tuesday, September 20, 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, September 21, 2011