Foundation gives Tech $7.5 million

The J. F Maddox Foundation gave Texas Tech University a $7.5 million contribution for a new endowed chair in the Lubbock-based university's college of engineering.

The J. F Maddox Foundation gave Texas Tech University a $7.5 million contribution for a new endowed chair in the Lubbock-based university's college of engineering.

On Friday afternoon, Texas Tech recognized the Hobbs-based foundation for its contribution, but the contribution was given to the university at the end of December, said Bob Reid, executive director of the J. F Maddox Foundation. Through the endowed chair, Texas Tech dedicates the money the foundation gave it for the purpose of recruiting nationally known researchers to work at the university, Reid said.

"This is an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the legacy of Donovan Maddox," Reid said. "The new endowment will give the university new and exciting researchers in engineering." Donovan Maddox and Jack Maddox, deceased, both graduated from Texas Tech University with degrees in textile engineering. Donovan, Jack's brother and father of Don and Jim Maddox of Hobbs, graduated from Texas Tech in 1934.

Donovan died in 1993. Like his brother, Jack, Donovan was elected president of the student body and named as Texas Tech’s distinguished alumnus. Donovan served as Tech’s student body president in 1931-32 and was named distinguished alumnus in 1972. He was also named Tech’s distinguished engineer in 1971 and received the alumni association’s Lauro F. Cavazos Award in 1988. Donovan dedicated a great deal to setting the vision that exists in the Maddox Foundation today, Reid said. He served on the foundation’s board of directors for 19 years and was foundation president for 12 years.

The Maddox Foundation, a family foundation with a board of directors comprised of Don and Jim Maddox and their five children, gives grants to various Lea County nonprofit organizations, municipalities and schools in Lea County, Reid said. It was founded by Jack and Mabel Maddox, deceased, 47 years ago.

The foundation has contributed to the building of the Hobbs Teen Center, Humphrey House and the Jack and Mabel Student Life Center on the University of the Southwest campus. It has also funded the beautification projects in downtown Hobbs.

This is the second endowed chair the foundation has contributed to Texas Tech, Reid said. The foundation’s first endowed chair at Texas Tech was in honor of Jack Maddox in 1982.

“We’re excited about being able to provide this strategic assistance to Texas Tech in recognition of Donovan, given the significance that Texas Tech had in his life,” Reid said.

The university is looking for someone with expertise in energy, said Jeff Sammons, senior editor at Whitacre College of Engineering at Texas Tech University.

The university has already done extensive research in wind and pulsed power, Sammons said.

“When you combine those areas of research, this (endowment) will allow us to hire another expert in another area of energy research, which will allow us to expand our energy research capabilities,” he said.

Texas Tech will be beginning its nationwide search at various colleges and universities for potential research candidates for the Jack Maddox and Donovan Maddox endowed chairs, Sammons said.

No timeline is in place for when the research positions will be filled.

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