The Highland Park Education Foundation (HPEF) announced Tuesday afternoon that it has received an unprecedented $10 million gift from Clements Foundation to establish the William P. Clements, Jr. Fund designated to meet the needs of teachers in the Highland Park Independent School District. The gift is the largest in the history of the Education Foundation and the district.
“This gift recognizes our teachers’ skill and dedication, and shows our appreciation of their commitment to our students,” Nancy Seay said. Seay is the daughter of Governor Bill Clements and a board member of the Clements Foundation. “The goal of this gift to the Highland Park Education Foundation is to help the school district support our teachers.”
Clements graduated from Highland Park High School in 1934 and all of his grandchildren and many of his great-grandchildren have attended HPISD. He exemplified HPISD’s motto, “Enter to learn. Go forth to serve,” through his career serving as the Deputy Secretary of Defense for four years before making history in 1978 when he was elected the first Republican Governor of Texas in more than 100 years. Clements was also the founder of SEDCO, which became the largest offshore drilling company in the world.
Clements was a man of true entrepreneurial spirit with a love of family and community. His philanthropy was transformative to countless institutions and to the citizens of Dallas.
“This gift is a perfect fit for the Clements Foundation because it combines my grandfather’s respect for teachers with his love for the Highland Park schools and community,” said Pauline Neuhoff, President of Clements Foundation and granddaughter of Gov. Bill Clements. “We hope it inspires the community to join us in making our excellent school district even better.”
The William P. Clements, Jr. Fund will be invested in HPEF’s Tartan Fund to support the long-term needs of teachers.
“This transformational gift to the Tartan Fund will help meet the enduring needs of teachers into the future,” HPEF Board President Ann Fielder said. “After we invest the principal of the gift, a portion of the annual income from earnings will be available to help meet teacher needs across the entire District.”
“Throughout his career, Governor Clements was deeply appreciative of the education he received in Highland Park ISD,” Jim Hitzelberger, President of the HPISD Board of Trustees said. “This school district has always prided itself on having outstanding educators in our classrooms and this generous gift from the foundation that bears his name will go a long way to supporting teachers for years to come. On behalf of the board, thank you very much to the Clements Foundation.”
“This is truly an extraordinary gift,” said Kelly Walker, board liaison to the Highland Park Education Foundation. “It sends two bold messages: 1) that teachers in HPISD are truly valued, and 2) that the Clements Foundation is very serious about setting a tremendous example for others to follow in our community. At a time when HPISD will now send more than $100 million to the state in recapture funds, we encourage others to follow suit.”
For more information about how to partner with the Highland Park Education Foundation, visit www.hpef.org.
About the Highland Park Education Foundation:
The Highland Park Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 founded in 1984 to assist in preserving and enriching the quality of education throughout the Highland Park Independent School District. Founded under the visionary leadership of George Connell, Judy Gibbs, Jack Hammack, Darrell Lafitte, Charles Seay, Don Williams, and the late Walter Spradley, the Foundation manages two fundraising campaigns- Mad for Plaid and the Tartan Fund endowment- in an effort to provide increasing financial support to HPISD for teacher salaries, the needs of Highland Park High School, and other special needs of the District. HPEF houses the HPHS Alumni Association with all of its activities, including Golden Scots and the Distinguished Alumni Awards, along with many other programs such as student scholarships, the Moody Innovation Institute, the Veterans Plaque, memorials, and archiving.