In Memoriam - Sara H. Lindsey

February 19, 2016

John and Sara Lindsey

John and Sara Lindsey

Sara Houstoun Lindsey, noted Houston philanthropist and devoted supporter of Texas A&M University, passed away in Houston on February 16, 2016.

The generosity of Sara and her husband, John, to Texas A&M spanned more than fifty years. Their numerous gifts to Texas A&M included three faculty chairs; nine scholarships; and a $3 million commitment to the University’s first comprehensive campaign, Capturing the Spirit. The couple also worked tirelessly behind the scenes garnering support for the admission of women to Texas A&M, helping to establish the University Press, and influencing the selection of Texas A&M as the site of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library.

The Lindseys were among the earliest and most generous contributors to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum as well as to the Bush School of Government and Public Service, funding two faculty chairs at the School.
Dr. William West, who holds the Sara Lindsey Chair at the Bush School, said he was honored to hold the chair endowed by its namesake, Sara Lindsey.

“Sara’s generosity in funding this chair has brought visibility to the Bush School by facilitating my work as a scholar and allowing me to participate in other professional activities,” West said.  “It has also benefited our students by supporting their participation on research projects as well as class-related activities.”

Dr. Catherine Eckel was named the Sara and John Lindsey Professor in the Department of Economics in 2015.

Sara was actively involved in the intellectual life of the university, strongly committed to improving academic offerings and increasing financial support in several colleges. She is a Pillars of A&M donor to the Jon L. Hagler Center, home of the Texas A&M Foundation, and also served on the One Spirit One Vision Executive Council; the University Press Advisory Committee; and the development councils for the College of Visual Arts , the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Medicine.

The Lindseys’ generosity to Texas A&M reflected their interest and support for a range of activities and events. They created the John and Sara Lindsey Series in the Arts and Humanities at the Texas A&M University Press and were founding members of the President’s Endowed Scholarship program, supporting nine scholarships. They were equally generous donors to Corps of Cadets scholarships and to the University president’s home.

A woman known as much for her spirit and energy as her generous philanthropy, Sara was a longtime member of the Polo Club and extremely active in the Junior League of Houston (JLH), where she served as president from 1957 to 1958. In 2004, she was honored with the Adelaide Lovett Baker Award, which is bestowed upon a JLH sustainer of at least ten years whose active involvement with the organization resulted in a major impact on the community. Her husband, John, endowed the Sara Houstoun Lindsey Award at the JLH to annually honor an outstanding active member who exemplifies the JLH mission both within the JLH and the community it serves. Sara and John gave generously of their time and treasure to Houston landmarks such as Herrmann Park, where visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Sara H. and John H. Lindsey Plaza. She also took time to enjoy trips with the Traveling Aggies and expand her collection of Elvis memorabilia, and she was a known tennis enthusiast.

“I have known Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey for almost twenty years and believe them to be some of the most generous and thoughtful people I have ever met,” said Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation and a 1996 graduate of Texas A&M. “Their contributions of time, resources, and vision have created a ripple effect of good in the world that will last for generations. As a graduate of the Bush School, I am especially grateful for their gifts to support faculty in that exceptional program. She will be greatly missed.” 

Sara is survived by her husband, John Lindsey, a 1944 Texas A&M graduate, former regent of the Texas A&M University System, and trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation, and their son, David. She is preceded in death by her parents, James Patrick and Martha Gano Houstoun; sister, Janet Houstoun Davis; son, Edwin; and first cousin, Howard Hughes.

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