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Joann Mitte, Texas State alumna, benefactor, dies at 75

By T.Cay Rowe
University News Service
December 10, 2007


Joann Cole Mitte

Joann Cole Mitte, who donated millions to Texas State University-San Marcos through the charitable foundation she partnered with her late husband Roy F. Mitte, died Dec. 4 in Austin at age 75.

Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte’s generous contributions to Texas State established the university’s most prestigious scholarship program, funded five distinguished chairs, supported the Grosvenor Scholars Program in geographic education, endowed the university’s Mitte Honors Program, and created the university’s premier full-tuition scholarship, the Mitte Laureate Scholarship Program. Last month Texas State awarded the first Joann Cole Mitte Faculty Grant for Excellence, a $25,000 grant for research.

The Mitte Complex on campus, which includes the Joann Cole Mitte Art Building and the Roy F. Mitte Technology and Physics Building, was named in their honor.

Texas State University has lost one of its brightest stars and most devoted supporters,” said university President Denise M. Trauth. “Joann loved her alma mater, and the Mitte financial support has been transformational.

“The Mittes epitomized dedication to hard work, persistence, extraordinary performance and loyalty, and they believed passionately in higher education,” she added. “Their belief and commitment will continue through their foundation for generations to come.”

Mrs. Mitte, a native of Bertram, graduated with her husband in 1953 from Southwest Texas State Teachers College, now Texas State University-San Marcos, with a degree in elementary education. She taught at San Marcos Baptist Academy and in public schools in El Paso, Killeen and Lampasas in the early days of the Mittes’ marriage and while her husband was serving in the armed forces in Korea. Prior to her retirement, she was active in her community and remained a driving force behind the foundation’s community and cultural interests.

She was named a Distinguished Alumna of Texas State in 1998, and she and Mr. Mitte were awarded honorary degrees from the university in 2005. The couple also received the President’s Excellence Award in 1997.

Joann Mitte was preceded in death by her husband Roy, who died Jan. 27. She is survived by her son, Michael Scott Mitte, and grandson, Roy F. Mitte, III.

Private funeral services and entombment were on Friday, Dec. 7.  Honorary pallbearers included, Dilum Chandrasoma, Matt Chapman, Donald Collins, Vernon McDonald, William McHugh, Charles Mitte, Kevin Nolting, Brad Roseman, William Skipping and Jack Vaughan. 

In lieu of flowers the Mitte family suggests memorials be made to Family Eldercare in Austin or to Hospice Austin.  Tributes, thoughts and memories honoring Joann Cole Mitte can be shared with the family by visiting her memorial at www.MeM.com or at the Mitte Foundation at 1008 West Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701.