COLLEGE STATION — Conservationist Terry Hershey of Houston recently established the Jake Hershey Fellowship in Natural Resources Conservation for graduate students studying recreation, park and tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.
Dr. Peter Witt, professor of recreation, park and tourism sciences at Texas A&M University, said Mrs. Hershey wanted to establish an endowment in her late husband~Rs name to honor his environmental efforts.
“Both the Hersheys have been very involved in natural resource issues,” he said. “Neither graduated from this university, but they always have been involved with Texas A&M University and this department in particular.”
In 1934 Jake Hershey graduated from Yale University, and his wife, Terry, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1943. The Terry Hershey Award for Excellence, given by the department of recreation, park and tourism sciences at Texas A&M University, honors active conservationists who did not attend Texas A&M University.
Witt said Mrs. Hershey contributed to many environmental organizations in Houston and nationally. For example, her board memberships include the National Audubon Society, National Parks and Recreation Association, Trust for Public Land and Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. In addition, she helped found the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Jake Hershey worked principally within the inland marine transportation industry, serving as chairman of the board and chief executive officer for American Commercial Lines Inc. He chaired the federal government’s Inland Marine Exchange Delegation to the Soviet Union in 1960 and served as the United States delegate to the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses.
Mr. Hershey served as a director of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the National Waterways Foundation. Also, he helped found and directed the Galveston Bay Foundation, chaired the Advisory Committee of the Transportation Center at Northwestern University and was a member emeritus of the Texas Philosophical Society. He enjoyed competitive ocean sailing, holding memberships in the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club. Prior to his death, Mr. Hershey won the National Rivers Hall of Fame Achievement Award.
Dr. Joe O’Leary, head of the recreation, park and tourism sciences department at Texas A&M University, said the endowment supports fulltime graduate students within his department, especially those interested in conservation.
“We are always interested in ways to aid and abet our graduate students,” he said. “Will this make a difference for our graduates students? You bet.”