Giving Societies

Hill Society

This society recognizes those who have contributed a total of $10,000 or more over the years to the Jackson School and is named after Robert T. Hill, the first professor and chair of the Department of Geology. He was known as the “Father of Texas Geology.”

Born in Nashville, Tennessee two years before the start of the Civil War, Robert T. Hill led a colorful life. He dropped out of school in the sixth grade and went to work for his brother at a newspaper in Comanche, Texas, a wild frontier town. He spent some time as a cowboy on the Dodge City Trail. In his spare time, he collected rocks and fossils and went on to receive a B.S. in geology from Cornell University in 1887. Through some 200 papers, books, and maps, he made significant contributions to the understanding of Texas geology.

In 1921, Hill was an expert witness for Texas in a boundary suit between Texas and Oklahoma. His testimony, along with those of other specialists, permanently won for Texas some 450,000 acres of river-valley lands and over 90 percent of the oil wells along the Red River. He received international attention as one of the first scientists to study the volcano Pelée on the island of Martinique during its catastrophic eruptive cycle of 1902, being the first to describe its classic “glowing cloud.” Hill was an original fellow of the Geological Society of America.

The last ten years of his life, he wrote about science and Texas history for the Dallas Morning News. Hill died in 1941.

L.T. Barrow Founders Circle

The L.T. Barrow Founders Circle recognizes friends and alumni who have given cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more since the Jackson School was established in 2005. It was named in honor of Leonidas T. Barrow (B.S., 1921; M.S. 1923), who was a geology instructor in the Department (1921-24) and chairman of the board of Humble Oil and Refining Company (1948-55), which later consolidated with Standard Oil to become Exxon.

Leonidas Theodore (Slim) Barrow entered the University of Texas in 1917, but in 1918 he left the university to join the Signal Corps of the United States Army. He returned upon his military discharge in 1919 and was awarded the bachelor’s degree in geology in 1921. During his undergraduate days he played on the Longhorn football and basketball teams, where he earned his nickname. He received his master’s degree in 1923 and served as instructor in geology at the University of Texas from 1921 to 1924. In 1923 he married Laura Thomson, a geology student at the university.

Barrow served on the Geology Foundation Council from 1957 to 1963 and was elected a lifetime honorary member in 1964. He was also a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Geophysical Union, as well as a fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Barrow died in Houston on March 4, 1978.

Katie Society

The Katie Society is named after Katherine G. “Katie” Jackson, beloved wife of the late John A. Jackson and recognizes friends and alumni who have given $500,000 or more to the school. Katherine Jackson graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos in 1939. She went on to teach students across the state in Marble Falls, Temple and Alice. She married Jack Jackson in 1941, and lent her name to the Jackson’s primary business, The Katie Petroleum Company, and also to the Dallas Press Club’s Katie Awards.

Jackson served on the Board of Regents at Texas Lutheran College in Seguin for 20 years and was a Trustee of Dallas Presbyterian Hospital. In partnership with her husband, she helped establish the Jackson School through an endowment that transformed the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences into a school in its own right, dedicated to educating generations of geosciences students.

Katherine Jackson died in 2001 at the age of 83.

Flawn Circle of Excellence

This circle is named after Peter T. Flawn, who has a long and distinguished history as a leader in the University of Texas system as well as in science and industry in general and recognizes friends and alumni who have given over $1 million to the Jackson School. He served as president of UT Austin twice and UT San Antonio once. He was named president emeritus by the UT Board of Regents in 1985. He served as professor of geological sciences and director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT Austin from 1960 to 1970. He became professor of geological sciences and public affairs in 1970 and Leonidas T. Barrow Professor of Mineral Resources in 1978. From 1970 to 1972, he served as vice president for academic affairs. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974. He was president of the Geological Society of America in 1978 and president of the American Geological Institute in 1988. He was a member of the National Science Board from 1980 to 1986. The American Geological Institute awarded him their most prestigious honor, the Ian Campbell Medal, in 1993. He began his career as a junior geologist in the Mineral Deposits branch of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1948. He also conducted research at the Bureau of Economic Geology from 1949 to 1960. He received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1947 and Ph.D. in geology from Yale University in 1951. He is a professor emeritus at UT Austin and an honorary life member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council.

Texas Leadership Society

The Texas Leadership Society is a special organization created to recognize people who have included the University in their estate plans

Full listing of society members

For more information contact Georgia Sanders.