Texas First Lady Anita Perry
Anita Thigpen Perry is a native Texan from Haskell. She is dedicated to improving the health of her state, preserving its culture and promoting its outstanding business climate.
Mrs. Perry worked as a nurse for 17 years in surgery, pediatrics, intensive care, administration and teaching. Her advocacy for the profession has been recognized by Texas Tech University, which renamed its nursing school in her honor in 2008. To aid in the nursing shortage, two endowments are set up in her name: The Anita Thigpen Perry Nursing Excellence Scholarship at West Texas A&M University, and The Anita Thigpen Perry Endowment at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
In 2000 she created an empowering and educational event, the annual Texas Conference for Women, which brings together more than 7,000 women from across the state. A small-town girl herself, she has a passion for the authenticity of Texas and recognizes preservation efforts through her annual First Lady's Texas Treasures Award. Mrs. Perry travels the state promoting tourism, and has spoken at 37 Main Street Program community events. She also supports trade efforts with international markets, and has led economic development delegations to Argentina, Brazil, Slovakia, England, Japan and Germany.
Mrs. Perry earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M University, and a master's degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.