• Fondren Jones Science Center Phase II

In May of 2018, Southwestern University received the largest, single private gift in its 178-year history. The donor, Life Trustee Jack Garey, who made the gift with honor to his late wife Camille Garey,   describes the impetus behind his momentous decision:  “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.” The $15,000,000 gift will fund an endowment to 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. But the impact of the Garey gift extends so much further.

As Southwestern University President, Edward Burger, announced in a public statement of gratitude following the gift: “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.”

The endowment funded by this gift will support faculty development, academic programming, need-based scholarships, and high-impact experiences. Some of the specific University priorities receiving perpetual funding through the Garey gift include:

  • Competitive funds 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

“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.

President Burger has thanked Mr. Garey for his”truly generous and transformational gift to Southwestern University” that will expand the horizons of the Southwestern community and make a lasting impact on generations of students and faculty to come.