• The Hugh Roy & Lillie Cullen Building at Southwestern
    The Hugh Roy & Lillie Cullen Building at Southwestern

Since the 1960s, the Cullen family has given more than $22 million to Southwestern. The tradition of philanthropy was started by legendary Houston oilman Hugh Roy Cullen and his wife, Lillie, and continues today through Roy H. Cullen, the grandson of Hugh Roy and Lillie Cullen.

“The Cullen family’s impact on Texas higher education has been enormous, especially at the University of Houston and at Southwestern University,” said Southwestern President Jake B. Schrum. “Since the days of the Republic, each generation of the Cullen family has supported Texas higher education with vision and philanthropy.”

At Southwestern, the Cullen family’s generosity is evident everywhere on campus - from buildings to support of students and faculty members. Their contributions, from the Cullen Foundation and the Cullen Trust for Higher Education, have included:

  • The Hugh Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair in Economics, which supports excellence in teaching and research in economics.
  • The Cullen Faculty Endowment, which supports faculty enrichment and development.
  • Funds to renovate Southwestern’s historic (1898) administration and classroom building, which was renamed the Roy and Lillie Cullen Building on Oct. 14, 1977.
  • The Cullen Endowed Scholarship Fund, which assists students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and financial need.
  • The Corbin J. Robertson Center, which provides the campus community a state-of-the-art recreational center.
  • The Roy H. Cullen Academic Mall, which represents the center of campus and is the site of various campus events.
  • Support for the Paideia Endowed Scholars Fund, which enables students to participate in intercultural, service-learning, leadership or research experiences.

This is the second year in a row that the President’s Philanthropy Award has gone to a family from Houston. Last year it was accepted by Isabel Brown Wilson on behalf of The Brown Foundation Inc.


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