05/07/2024 McMurry News

(Abilene, Texas – May 7, 2024) – McMurry University is now designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite, adding a dedicated breastfeeding room in the new Garrison United Methodist Campus Center. Of the Abilene-based universities, McMurry is the first to be named a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite for students, faculty and staff. The room was set up under the guidance of Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services Dr. Meka Allen, who coordinated with the Abilene–Taylor County Public health District, to apply for the designation and ensure that the room meets all the necessary standards.

Work to establish a dedicated space, equipment, and supplies began in January. Texas Mother-Friendly employers proactively support those who choose to breastfeed their infants by providing time, space, and other support to maintain breastfeeding after returning to work and classes. McMurry’s program is a campus-wide initiative available to students, faculty, and staff. Previously, the campus community members worked with nursing mothers to find private locations on campus for nursing; now, there is dedicated space.

“We are proud to support our student and employee mothers who have returned to school and work while caring for their child,” University President Dr. Sandra S. Harper said. “It has previously been a struggle to find an appropriate space for breastfeeding mothers, but with the expansion of the Campus Center, we were able to dedicate a room and provide resources to more adequately meet their needs.”

In 2022, McMurry expanded its family leave policy by adopting a 12-week paid leave policy. Both changes demonstrate the university’s commitment to being a more inclusive and family-friendly place for education and work.

McMurry University has not only established a dedicated mother’s room but has also partnered with the City of Abilene and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to provide ongoing support. A lactation consultant, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator Mary McCintosh, will be available to assist mothers as needed. This collaboration underscores McMurry’s commitment to providing a holistic support system for breastfeeding mothers.

The mother’s room at McMurry University is a thoughtfully designed space that caters to the needs of breastfeeding mothers. It is equipped with a refrigerator for storing breast milk, a breast pump, lactation sanitation supplies, and a comfortable rocking chair.

“I am grateful to Chrystal McCutchen with the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District who has been a great support during the process and has coordinated furnishing our mother’s room.” Dr. Allen said.

Beginning Monday, May 13, the Campus Center summer hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Nicholas Ocheltree, Director of Integrated Communications