Jack E. Wilson Endowment for Books of Humor

Jack was a student at the University of Houston from September 1946 until May 1950 when he received his BS degree from the College of Arts and Sciences. As a student, he was Advertising Manager and later Business Manager of the campus newspaper, the Cougar, and held the same positions for the yearbook, The Houstonian. He met his future wife, Mary Lou Moffitt in 1947 while both were students. They married in 1949.

He was President of the Press Club in 1949 and helped locate a cougar to purchase from his childhood friend, Manuel King of Brownsville, TX. He arranged for air transportation to fly the cougar, later named Shasta, to Houston. It was purchased by the University service club. In 1950 he was selected one of ten “Outstanding People” among the student body on campus.

He was an avid fan of the Football team and traveled to all of the out of town games with the team. He performed at Frontier Fiesta in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1950 in the Cavalier Theater doing a comedy singing routine. Thirty years later, he performed the same routine at a Theater Under the Stars Gala called, “Highlights of Frontier Fiesta”. He also performed in the Varsity Varieties Show of the Red Masque Players as a student.

He was an original resident of Veteran’s Village, the army house trailer community on campus that served as housing for returning World War II veterans.

After graduation he was appointed as the director of the drive to raise money on campus for the Student Activity Center building which was built in the late 50’s. In 1959 he was appointed as the Executive Director of the University of Houston Alumni Organization (succeeding Johnny Goyen, the first person to hold that position). He held that position for several years until he was appointed as head of the Port of Houston Defense and Disaster Planning. He served under Mayor Roy Hofhienz as Operations Director of the Civil Defense Department. In 1957 he was appointed to a position in what is today called Homeland Defense. He was Five State Director of Operations for the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization in the Executive Office of the President (John F. Kennedy). His responsibilities included the Natural Disaster Relief responsibilities, now held by FEMA. He got special recognition for his handling of the relief efforts following Hurricane Audrey that hit Cameron, Louisiana in 1957, killing 500 people and 35,000 head of cattle and destroying 5,000 homes.

In the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s he was a successful Real Estate Developer in Galveston, Austin and Houston.

He was founder of the Sideline Coaches Association, an organization that promoted UH football. Until his death in 2004 he was an avid supporter of the University of Houston with particular emphasis on the Alumni Organization and athletics.

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