The transfer of the estate of the late Dallas oilman and geologist John A. Jackson to The University of Texas at Austin is nearing completion and its value has been set at $232 million. Adding Jackson’s previous gifts of $40 million, the total value of his contributions is $272 million, making him one of the most generous benefactors ever to a public university.
Jackson, an alumnus of the university, died in March and directed in his will that the residue of his estate go to the study of the geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. When the estate bequest was announced in March 2002, it was estimated that its value was $150 million.
Jackson’s gift will support research in geology, geophysics, energy, mineral and water resources, earth sciences and the environment. The total includes previous gifts of $15 million for the renovation of the Jackson Geological Sciences Building and $25 million for the creation of the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences.
“Mr. Jackson always said that he and his wife, Katie, were not donors, they were investors in the future of Texas,” said Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “They wanted to give back to the state that had given them so much in their lifetimes. They also wanted their estate to be used to assure that Texans continue to have access to water, energy and a clean environment. We intend to fulfill that desire.”
Dr. Bill Fisher, director of the Jackson school, said Jackson was a keen businessman, but he took great pride in being a professional geologist and having received a degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
“He often said that the resources of the earth had been good to him and had helped him accomplish a great deal,” Fisher said. “He wanted to invest his wealth in the future of young people who are studying geology and the earth. At the same time, he wanted to assure that the Jackson School of Geosciences becomes one of the very best in the geosciences.”