Alonzo Jamison in the 1939 UNT Yucca yearbook.
UNT received a $1.5 million gift from the estate of alumnus Alonzo Jamison, a former state representative, to support the UNT President's Loyalty Fund.
The gift, which creates and endows the Alonzo and Elizabeth Jamison Endowment Fund, will provide the university with an estimated $60,000 annually, in perpetuity, which will be used by the president to fund scholarships, strengthen academic programs, enrich co-curricular experiences or support research.
Jamison, known as a champion for Denton's universities and the interests of farmers and ranchers, represented Denton County in the Texas House of Representatives for 14 years and also served briefly as a UNT faculty member. Jamison died in 2011 at the age of 93.
"Alonzo Jamison's generosity will make a big difference for UNT as we continue our mission to provide the best undergraduate educational experience in Texas," says Michael Monticino, vice president for Advancement. "Mr. Jamison devoted his life to teaching and public service. UNT is honored and humbled by his gift and by his legacy."
Jamison earned his bachelor's degree in government from UNT in 1939. Jamison was elected to represent Denton County in the Texas House of Representatives in 1954 and served seven consecutive terms. In 1965, his district was enlarged to include Cooke County. He left the Legislature in 1968 to join the faculty of Texas Woman's University in the department of history and government. He became chair of the department in 1981 and retired in 1984. Jamison also served briefly on the UNT faculty. He was awarded the Bronze Star as an officer in World War II, and remained active in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a colonel in 1974.
Before her death in 2009, Jamison's wife of 62 years, Elizabeth, taught English at public schools in Plainview and Hadley, Texas, and at her alma mater, Texas Woman's University. During her husband's tenure in the Texas House, she served as president of the Legislative Wives Club in Austin. She also served as the chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth area's "Kennedy Ladies Tea" hosted by the Kennedy and Johnson families during the 1960 presidential campaign.
To learn more about how philanthropic support is transforming UNT or to make a gift, visit Giving to UNT.
Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at Buddy.Price@unt.edu.