About the Donor:
Virginia Thompson Symons graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. Degree in Education and was involved in education throughout her life. She was a member of
P.E.O. (a philanthropic and educational organization), The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and The American Association of University Women, where she became an Honorary Life member after 56 years of service. In 1926 she married Dr. George E. Symons, distinguished environmental author, editor, and President of the American Water Works Association from 1973 to 1974.
Their son, Dr. James M. Symons also distinguished himself in the ranks of higher education as a faculty member, teacher, researcher, and author in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Houston. He began his service to the Department as a professor in 1982, served six years as Program Director for Environmental Engineering and chaired the CEE Department from 1985-89. He was a Cullen Distinguished Professor from 1995-97, and has been Professor Emeritus since. His most notable national award is membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and most notable university award is the Esther Farfel Award received in 1996.
Jim met and married Mrs. Joan K. Symons who was born in Medford, Massachusetts, and graduated from The Katharine Gibbs School in Boston. While in Houston, she was an active member of the Junior Forum and Houston Assembly of Delphian Chapters, where she was president of her chapter for one term. She is the mother of three children and long time supporter of the University of Houston.
Virginia Thompson Symons' granddaughter, Julie Symons Luke, is a graduate of the University of Houston, receiving her Masters in Social Work in 1987.