Caught by "The Spirit of Houston"

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The Thompson Family

The roots of the Thompson family grow fast and reach deep. Just six years after moving to Houston, John and Susan bleed Cougar Red. Two of their daughters are UH graduates, while their youngest currently pursues her degree in exercise science. The campus has become their "weekend home," so including the university in their wills was an easy decision.

"We've always given to schools, since our girls were little," says Susan. "We've been very blessed, and we value what they have to offer. There's nothing more important than educating our children. They're our future."

While the academic interests of their children are diverse, the common thread among their experiences at UH has been music. It began soon after the family moved to Houston from Arlington in 2001. Emily, their oldest, transferred to UH to be closer to their new home and majored in music education. Annie, who received a M.S. in Accountancy, began as a music major, and Ellen marched with the Spirit of Houston Marching Band.

The Thompsons became huge supporters of the band and even endowed a scholarship for Bauer College of Business students who play music at UH. "Music is a great discipline. It teaches you how to work at something," says Susan. They've also given through unrestricted support and matching gifts from their employers. Susan's involvement with the university led to her taking a religion course on campus last year. Of the experience she says, "I was incredibly impressed. The students are very bright. If that's what the future holds for us, we're going to be OK!"