AUSTIN, Texas—John A. Jackson, a retired Dallas oilman and noted philanthropist, has given $25 million to create a School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. It is the third-largest single gift to the University.
The gift is in addition to the $15 million Jackson and his late wife, Katherine, gave last year for expansion of the University’s Geological Sciences Building.
"The Jackson gift will support basic and applied research concerning natural resources that are vital to the future of Texas," said UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner. "It also will ensure that the University maintains preeminence in educational and research programs in the geosciences for generations to come."
The $25 million gift, announced Tuesday (July 10), will be for an endowment to support the newly created John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences. The new school will include the department of geological sciences, the Bureau of Economic Geology and the Institute for Geophysics.
Funds from the endowment will support geological research, faculty and student fellowships, visiting scientists and post-doctoral fellows.
"My education at UT Austin helped launch and sustain my career," said Jackson, a 1940 geology graduate. "Now, I want to help others get the best education possible. I believe that UT Austin should be the nation’s leader in the geological sciences."
Groundbreaking was in April for the 60,000-square-foot expansion to the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson Geological Sciences Building. The additional space will house classrooms, conference rooms, offices and research labs. Completion is expected by December 2002.
"The Jacksons’ generous gifts are strategic and timely as the country faces new challenges in energy and its uses of natural resources," said Mary Ann Rankin, dean of UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences. "We now have one of the great centers for the study of geological sciences in the nation here at The University of Texas at Austin."
The UT Austin department of geological sciences has the nation’s top-ranked doctoral program in stratigraphy/sedimentology. Its doctoral programs in paleontology, hydrogeology and tectonics/structure are ranked in the top 10 nationally. The rankings are based on a survey of academic geologists and reported by U.S. News and World Report.
For additional information, contact Jim Kunetka, Office of Resource Development, (512) 475-9641 or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs (512) 471-3151.