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Jerry, Linda Fields named to chair fundraising effort

Posted by Mark Hendricks
University News Service
May 16, 2008


Jerry D. and Linda Gregg Fields of Houston have been named as chairs of the “Pride in Action” fund-raising campaign at Texas State University-San Marcos.

The announcement of the Fieldses as campaign chairs was made Thursday by Texas State President Denise M. Trauth to the Texas State University System Board of Regents, meeting on the Texas State campus.

Jerry Fields, a 1969 business graduate of Texas State, is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of J.D. Fields & Co., a worldwide supplier of steel products headquartered in Houston, with regional offices in Dallas, Tulsa, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Guadalajara, Mexico.

His wife, Linda Gregg Fields, is a 1966 graduate of Texas State and a native San Marcan.

Mr. Fields said he was proud he and his wife could provide leadership for the campaign.

“I truthfully believe that you’ve got to give something back. When you look at where this university has come from and where it’s going – the future of our country and maybe the future of the world are tied to people who are going to have good, strong science skills, math skills and business skills. I just happen to believe that Texas State is the rising star of Texas,” said Fields.

Jerry Fields was a vice president of L.B. Foster Co. before leaving in 1985 to establish his own business. He and his wife are well-known philanthropists and are involved in a number of charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Houston  Museum of Natural Science. She is on the Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors.

The Fieldses have donated $2.1 million to Texas State, endowing two faculty chairs in the university’s McCoy College of Business Administration.

Texas State’s “Pride in Action” campaign is currently in its “silent” or formative stage. The public stage of the campaign is expected to begin in 2010, and the Fieldses will help organize, direct strategy and set goals for the campaign.

Trauth said that the university has already made significant progress in the early stages of the campaign. That progress includes:

  • An $8 million gift from the PSH Foundation of Wimberley in support of a new performing arts center on campus.
     
  • A $6 million gift from the St. David’s Community Health Foundation in support of the St. David’s School of Nursing at the Round Rock Higher Education Center.
     
  • A $5 million gift from Bruce and Gloria Ingram to establish the Ingram School of Engineering at Texas State.
     
  • The Fieldses’ donations totaling $2.1 million to endow faculty chairs in the McCoy College of Business Administration.
     
  • A donation of $1.3 million from San Antonio alumnus Darren Casey to support the Bobcat athletic program and the McCoy College.

Trauth said the university was ready to embark on an aggressive campaign, noting that the university’s fund-raising has increased from $9.5 million in FY 04 to $26.1 million in FY 06.

Trauth said preparing for the campaign had been “a tremendous amount of work” on the part of many people at the university.

“We have reorganized our efforts, increased our fund-raising and formed or reinforced valuable relationships with donors and potential donors,” she said.

The campaign will have several “pillars,” Trauth said. Those will include academics (endowed chairs and professorships, research funding, undergraduate and graduate scholarships), a new performing arts center and alumni center, athletics (facilities upgrades and additional scholarship support), and the university library (space to accommodate new repositories, evolving information technologies and new methods of teaching).