Rosann Ferguson Hooks ’59 of Houston, Texas is challenging fellow Converse alumnae and friends to make new unrestricted gifts in support of scholarships this fiscal year. She will match – dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000 – every new gift for unrestricted scholarships made by June 30, 2009, effectively doubling the impact of gifts made during this timeframe.
“Today’s economy is forcing many Converse students to make difficult decisions about whether they can continue their education, and the College has stretched its financial aid funds to the limit. I decided to step forward now because we need these talented young women at Converse,” Rosann said. “Every Converse alumna who received scholarship support was impacted by the generosity of someone who came before her, and I believe in the importance of creating the same opportunity for a young woman who comes after me.”
In addition to issuing the $50,000 challenge, Rosann recently made a major gift to support Converse’s renovation of Kuhn Hall as the College’s first LEED certified building. Her gift will name the geology lab in memory of her husband, James E. Hooks, who retired from Chevron in 1997.
A long and loyal supporter of the Converse Annual Fund, Rosann has also enjoyed active involvement in Converse alumnae events and activities. In 2008, she traveled to Ireland with her sister-in-law through Converse’s Alumnae Travel program; and she plans to take her daughter on the alumnae trip to Scotland in August 2009. Rosann celebrated her 50th Reunion with classmates at Converse in April 2009, rallying around the Class Giving Competition with a leadership gift.
A Florida native, Rosann is one of three women in her family to attend Converse. Her mother, Myrtle Hendrix Ferguson ’24, and aunt, Rosa Hendrix Mitchell ’36, are also alumnae. Rosann is a lifelong community volunteer who has developed a keen interest in her work with an eye care mission group in recent years, traveling to American Samoa and Belize. She also serves as president of her Houston chapter of P.E.O. International, an organization that helps women to reach their educational goals.
“It was great to be back on campus for Reunion Weekend this year,” she said. “I was excited by everything I saw and heard at Converse and was especially impressed with our president, Betsy Fleming. I hope that every alumna visits the campus soon to see the incredible young women who are students today, the beautiful facilities and the impressive programs that our gifts have made possible!”