Smart Giving Benefits Donor and UH


Ouida Jo Hembree in her college portrait fromt eh late 1940s

Ouida Jo Hembree '49 had planned to attend the University of Texas, but things just did not work out. Instead, in the fall of 1945, Jo enrolled for classes at the University of Houston College of Business.

Jo notes that during that time period, "UH was overrun with veterans enrolling after World War II. In fact, the university did not have enough calculators, so we all had to share and work together."

Raised by a single mom, Jo's funds for school were scarce. In the spring of 1946, Jo applied for a Houston Delphian Scholarship, which "covered tuition, lab fees, books — and even tickets to the UH ballgames!" As she was working in the school office with Sue Garrison, Director of Women's Athletics, she was able to use Garrison as one of her references on the scholarship application.

Jo was attending UH when they organized the first Cougar football team and held the first annual homecoming. She remembers this as a very memorable and historic occasion. Also during this time, Frontier Fiesta "was in full bloom" and she helped in the construction of this event.


Today, Jo makes giving back to UH a priority.

In 2011, Jo established the Ouida Jo Hembree UH Tier One Scholarship Endowment to support UH's Tier One status. Jo feels by establishing this scholarship using some of her ExxonMobil stock that "it was a way to have ExxonMobil participate and make my dollars go farther." Her gift was matched 3-to-1 by ExxonMobil, allowing her to well exceed the minimum amount to set up a Tier One endowment. She and ExxonMobil repeated these gifts in 2012 and have made a pledge for 2013. And that's not all: UH was also able to match these gifts from a Tier One matching donor fund.

But wait, there's more. Recently, Jo established a charitable gift annuity with additional ExxonMobil stock. "I had planned to leave the stock to UH anyhow," she says. With her gift annuity, Jo will receive payments for the remainder of her life at an attractive rate. Plus, she is also able to spread the capital gains out over her lifetime. All in all, the charitable gift annuity has been a win-win gift for Jo and UH.