Beloved colleague Daniel Jensen passed away on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 5. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Governmental Affairs at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) joined the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1984 as its governmental affairs lead. Throughout the next 37 years, he spearheaded legislative strategy that was central to the growth of what is now a significantly larger and diverse HSC.
Jensen, known by Danny, was one of HSC’s biggest champions. Known not only for the work he did on behalf of the institution, he was loved for his jovial personality and kind heart.
As a direct contact to local, state and federal officials, Jensen’s voice carried the HSC story into offices, hallways and meeting rooms across Fort Worth, Austin and Washington D.C. He was instrumental in gaining state support that added numerous facilities to the HSC campus: The Gibson D. Lewis Library, Health Pavilion, Center for BioHealth, Medical Education and Training Building (MET) and, most recently, the Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building (IREB). His efforts were also key to establishing the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Health Professions and UNT System College of Pharmacy.
His work is inseparable from the growth in size and stature of the HSC today.
As part of HSC’s 50th Anniversary, Danny was designated as one of the “50 Heroes” in which Danny was described as possessing a heart “as big as the State of Texas – a state he dearly loves and serves. He is a great HSC historian and storyteller, and, more importantly, friend.”
He joined the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) in 1984 as the executive director of external and governmental affairs and director of the TCOM Foundation. In 1991, he was named associate vice president for governmental affairs and was promoted to vice president in 1995. He served as director of membership services for the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association and spent more than four years working on various Texas election campaigns.
Jensen received a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Tech and a Master of Liberal Arts from TCU.
For those interested in attending and paying their respects, a Celebration of Life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, at Colonial Country Club.