Hudspeths help fund Center for Philanthropy at Glasscock School

Hudspeths help fund Center for Philanthropy at Glasscock School

Rice News staff

A significant leadership gift from alumni C.M. “Hank” and Demaris Hudspeth to start a nonprofit center devoted to philanthropy at Rice University is likely to keep on giving.

The Hudspeths are providing initial funding toward a Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership to improve skills and performance of foundations, corporations and nonprofit organizations. It will be housed at Rice’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.

C.M. “Hank” and Demaris Hudspeth are providing initial funding toward a Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership to improve skills and performance of foundations, corporations and nonprofit organizations.

“Houston is known for its generosity and community spirit, and this center will enable individual donors and charitable organizations to be even more effective in contributing to our great city,” Rice President David Leebron said. “That means even better leadership, opportunities and services for the countless people and organizations who benefit from philanthropy in the Houston area.”

Under Leebron’s leadership, Rice is implementing a 10-point strategy called the Vision for the Second Century that includes expanding the university’s engagement with Houston. “The center is one more way we can share our expertise and knowledge with our home city and the Houstonians who, through philanthropy and nonprofit leadership, are making such an extraordinary difference,” he said.

For the past 20 years, the Glasscock School has offered courses for executive directors, board members and volunteers of nonprofit organizations to help develop their expertise and make them more effective leaders and fundraisers. The school also offers a Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives, a Comprehensive Fund Development Certificate Program, a Volunteer Management Academy and an annual Best Boards Conference that brings nearly 300 local and regional leaders of nonprofits to campus.

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“The Center for Philanthropy will enable us to coordinate those programs under a larger umbrella, expand our course offerings and make scholarships available to members of nonprofit institutions who cannot afford this specialized training,” said Mary McIntire, dean of the Glasscock School. She said the school also hopes to add a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership once the center is fully funded.

In addition to hiring a director and staff member for the new center, McIntire plans to form a planning group to guide the development of programs and curriculum. The group will comprise members of the philanthropic and nonprofit community, such as United Way, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Association of Healthcare Philanthropists, Greater Houston Community Foundation, foundation trustees, corporate executives and representatives from Rice.

“Many of Houston’s strongest nonprofits are led by baby boomers who are retiring, so the city needs a new group of leaders in the philanthropic area,” McIntire said. “The Center for Philanthropy can help meet that need.”

The Hudspeths share that optimism. “I would like to see the center blossom and bloom so that civic-minded people will come and study philanthropy here and then do something about it by way of giving,” Hank Hudspeth said.

Although the Hudspeths prefer to keep the amount of their gift confidential, they have no reservations about explaining why they are supporting Rice.

“It has been our favorite institution,” said Hudspeth, who noted that he and Demaris met when they were undergraduates at Rice. “We both went there for nothing,” he said, referring to the time when Rice was tuition-free. A trustee emeritus since 1989, Hudspeth said that aside from his years in law school and the Navy, he’s been at Rice for 72 years — as a student, an instructor and a board member.

After Hudspeth earned his B.A. in pre-law in 1940, he served four years in the Navy during World War II, completed a law degree at the University of Texas at Austin and then taught there in law school. In 1947 he returned to Houston to practice law at the firm now known as De Lange, Hudspeth, McConnell & Tibbets LLP. But he also found time to teach American government and law-related courses at Rice for more than 45 years, during which time he helped create the Department of Political Science. He was elected an alumni governor in 1980 and was appointed a trustee in 1982. While on the board, he chaired the Academic Affairs Committee and served on the Building and Grounds and Audit committees. He also served as president of the Association of Rice Alumni and chaired the Founder’s Club for the Annual Fund. He’s currently a member of the advisory boards for the Glasscock School, the Shepherd Society and the Center for Education.

Demaris Hudspeth graduated from Rice with a B.A. in 1942, earned a teaching certificate from the University of Houston and taught in the Houston Independent School District for a few years. Then she stayed home to raise their three children, but she also taught conversational English to foreign students at Rice for 27 years on a noncredit basis.

“Demaris would have the students and their families over to our house for parties,” Hank said. “She helped them with problems like babies with colic, and sometimes she took her classes to see the art museum. At Christmas we still get cards and letters from former students in Japan, Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries. After all these years they still remember the time they spent here and maintain an interest in Rice.”

Mrs. Hudspeth served as president of the Friends of Fondren and the Rice Faculty Women’s Club, and she was vice president of the Association of Rice Alumni.

In addition to the gift to the Glasscock School, the Hudspeths’ support of Rice includes the Shepherd School of Music, the Center for Education, Fondren Library, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, where Hank served on its Council of Overseers for two terms. The De Lange Conference that brings experts from around the world to campus for scholarly presentations on timely topics is supported by an endowment given by the Hudspeths in honor of Demaris’ parents, Albert and Demaris De Lange.

In 1997, the board established the C.M. and Demaris Hudspeth Lectureship in Political Economy in recognition of the couple’s 50 years of distinguished service to the university. An endowed award for student life and clubs was also named in their honor in 1999 by then-President Malcolm Gillis.

The Hudspeths’ gift supports Rice’s billion-dollar Centennial Campaign.

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