SAN ANGELO, Texas — Angelo State has received a $1 million gift from G. Brint Ryan, a Dallas-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, to establish a permanent endowment benefitting ASU’s Department of English and Modern Languages.

In light of the gift, ASU has renamed the Natalie Zan Ryan Department of English and Modern Languages to honor Ryan’s late sister, who was an ASU alumna and a faculty member in the department.

According to the release, Natalie Zan Ryan earned her Bachelor of Arts in English (2000) and Master of Arts in English (2003) degrees at ASU. During her time as a student, she was inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta international English honor society, was included in Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities and was named a 2003 Outstanding Graduate Student.

Natalie Zan Ryan

“Natalie loved teaching and dedicated her life to her students,” G. Brint Ryan said. “We are proud to honor her legacy by supporting the mission of ASU’s Department of English and Modern Languages. We know she would be thrilled with this recognition.”

While earning her master’s degree, Ryan worked in the Department of English and Modern Languages as a graduate assistant and teaching assistant, and then joined the faculty as a lecturer in 2004 and remained on staff until her passing in December 2021.

The Natalie Zan Ryan Department of English and Modern Languages is ASU’s third named department, joining the Dr. Arnoldo De Leon Department of History and the David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering.