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Endowing a Chair


Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones
Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones
Founders of
Houston Endowment Inc.


Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones:
The Houston Endowment aids
in teaching Geography around the world

After donating more than $1 million during their first years of marriage to help create and develop institutions and organizations that would nurture Houston people and encourage the city's growth, Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones established Houston Endowment, Inc., in 1937 to formalize and perpetuate their philanthropy.  Jesse was a financier, banker, lumberman, civic leader, and federal administrator, and he and Mary knew they would prosper only if their community thrived.

The Houston Endowment makes donations in seven program areas, and since its inception, it has made significant contributions to higher education through the establishment of endowments for scholarships, programs, buildings, and faculty chairs.  In 1998, the Houston Endowment established the Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Chair in Geographic Education, the first Chair to be endowed at Texas State University-San Marcos.  The Chair is held by Dr. Richard Boehm, whose goal is to to encourage research and provide leadership in the movement to improve the quality of geographic education.


Dr. Richard Boehm

Dr. Richard Boehm
Holder of the Jesse H. Jones
Distinguished Chair in
Geographic Education

As holder of the Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Chair, Dr. Boehm also serves as Director of the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education, whose mission is to research and develop new methods for teaching geography and to influence changes in public policy that elevate the importance of geography in societies throughout the world. Dr. Boehm is also Co-director of the National Center for Geography Education.  He has received numerous awards for his work, including "Distinguished Geography Educator" by the National Geographic Society, the George J. Miller Award for Distinguished Service by the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) and Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education by the Association of American Geographers.

Dr. Boehm is the Executive Editor for the scholarly journal Research in Geographic Education, and has authored several best selling geography and social studies books for grades K-12. He has received the Journal of Geography award for "best article" and has been honored with NCGE's Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award. He is a co-author of Guidelines for Geographic Education, 1984 and Geography for Life, model national standards in geography in 1994.