With gratitude, Southwestern University President, Edward Burger, announced today that the University has received the largest single private gift in its 178-year history. Southwestern Life Trustee Jack Garey, with honor to his late wife Camille Garey, has given $15,000,000 to Southwestern University in support of faculty development, academic programming, need-based scholarships, and high-impact experiences.

“This unprecedented and transformative gift, which has been fully allocated to the University’s endowment, will build upon our reputation as a world-class institution that is transforming higher education and as a national leader in high-impact learning and intellectual growth,” said President Burger.

The endowment funded by this gift will establish the Jack and Camille Garey School of Natural Sciences, joining the Brown College of Arts and Sciences and the Fayez Sarofim School of Fine Arts as one of three named schools within the University. It will support multiple University priorities on a perpetual basis, including:

  • Competitive funding to underwrite high-impact experiences for thirty-two Garey Scholars in their sophomore and junior years 
  • Building to eight annual mid-cycle competitive sabbatical semesters for tenured faculty across the University
  • Additional need-based assistance through the Financial Aid Office
  • Five endowed chairs in the natural sciences

Fondren Jones Science Center Phase II

“It was important to me to make this gift now because we are at a crucial time in education in this country, a crossroads of sorts,” said Jack Garey. “I was inspired by what President Burger is doing and wanted to see that vision move forward in a significant way.”

Jack Garey is the retired President of Garey Construction Company and served on Southwestern’s Board of Trustees for 12 years before being appointed as the University’s second Life Trustee in 2017. Garey is a self-made entrepreneur having achieved success in real estate development, ranching, and highway construction. He is also a lawyer and owned a successful law practice. He is an outstanding member of the Georgetown community, the donor behind the development of Garey Park, and a committed environmentalist, philanthropist, and business leader. His late wife, Camille Garey, was also a Trustee of Southwestern University and a lifelong resident of Georgetown. She, too, was an avid supporter of education and the environment throughout her life and until her death in 2012.

An official announcement and community-wide celebration is scheduled for the beginning of the Fall semester.

Jack Garey

“I believe that Southwestern University, under the leadership of President Burger, is going to play a major role in the evolution of higher education, not just in Texas, but the nation as well.  I wanted to invest in that transformation,” said Garey.

President Burger concluded in his remarks to the campus community, alumni and friends, “On behalf of the entire Southwestern community and, in particular, generations of students and faculty to come, I want to thank Jack and Camille Garey for this truly generous and transformational gift to Southwestern University.”