The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Mamie Strieber Shepperd, Benefactor in Her Own Right
The Shepperd family
Behind many well-known political figures are spouses who play supportive roles, but often out of the limelight. Such was the case with former Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd and his wife, the former Mamie Strieber, who is now in her 90s.
Therefore, after tributes to her husband-like the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute housed at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin-were in place, Mrs. Shepperd's children and grandchildren collectively established The Mamie Strieber Shepperd Endowed Scholarship at UTPB.
Dan Stansbury, the grandson-in-law who initiated the effort, reflected, "Mr. Shepperd was instrumental in establishing UTPB, and so my wife Tina (daughter of the late John Ben Shepperd, Jr.) felt it would be nice to do something on campus for her grandmother. We provided the seed money and consulted her surviving children: Alfred, Suzanne McIntosh, and Marianne Morse and friends including the JBS Foundation where I serve on the advisory council. I basically set it up in 2002 for leadership studies undergraduate students, but it is not limited to that major or to a particular GPA." Over the years, Mrs. Shepperd has added to the principal as well.
This endowment reflected Mrs. Shepperd's interest in higher education, especially within the UT System. She and John Ben met at UT Austin where they were both students. They married in 1938 after she earned her journalism degree. She worked in the Texas Legislature while he completed law school. Although the couple's early years were spent in Gladewater and Austin, their four children considered Odessa their hometown. The eldest graduated from Odessa High, and the others attended Permian High School there. The family now includes nine grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Shepperd is an avid reader and is currently a member of the Friends of the Lee Public Library in Gladewater. While in Odessa, she established the Read and Review Book Club and served as president of the Odessa Book Club. When UTPB opened, she was the Odessa chair for the founders' book drive which collected books from citizens to launch the University's library. More than 300,000 volumes were donated.
She and her husband campaigned throughout Texas for Lyndon B. Johnson when he ran for president (she was chairman of the West Texas Ladies for Lyndon). Mrs. Shepperd was one of the founders of the Crystal Ball, and she organized the symphony debutantes of the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale. She retired to PineWay Farms in Gladewater in 1998.
As a result of this enduring gesture to a beloved mother and grandmother, a fund of $ 156,439 was created. Thirteen students have been awarded this scholarship (which covers a large portion of their tuition and fees) enabling them to pursue their education at UT Permian Basin. Five of the recipients have completed their degrees.