BEAUFORD H. JESTER
Former Governor of Texas
Kappa Sigma Man of the Year, 1947
Beauford H. Jester became the 36th governor of Texas on January 21, 1947. As governor, he helped implement the most extensive education reforms ever known up to that time in Texas through the 1949 Gilmer-Aiken Act, the first comprehensive system for Texas school funding.
Prior to becoming governor, Jester was appointed to the University of Texas System Board of Regents in 1925 and was chosen as Chairman of the Board in 1933, a position he held through 1935. During his tenure he promoted a UT building program that included the tower of the Main Building, Hogg Auditorium, the Texas Union, Memorial Stadium, Gregory Gymnasium and the expansion of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
On July 11, 1949, Governor Jester died of an apparent heart attack aboard a Pullman railroad car while traveling to Galveston for a speaking engagement. He was the first Texas governor to die while in office.
Jester Center on the University of Texas campus was named in his honor in 1968. It is the largest residential facility on campus, housing close to 3,000 students, as well as classroom and faculty space.