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Passionate About Education and Rodeo

Jack Lyons ’75 believes Southwestern is unique and that his years on campus were some of the best of his life.


Photo courtesy of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

With a scholarship to play basketball and golf, Lyons arrived at the University in 1971 as a pre-dental major, but switched to business in his sophomore year. In addition to being an athlete, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and met his wife, Nina Nelms Lyons ’75, while at Southwestern.

The couple stays connected to Southwestern through Lyons’ involvement on the University’s Board of Visitors and through the friendships they both formed on campus. “A few of us have stayed in touch with each other for 45 years, which I believe is truly amazing,” Lyons says, and adds that he and Nina have “always encouraged young prospective students to visit the Southwestern campus, because it is truly unique and offers an excellent education.”

A managing director for Wortham Insurance and Risk Management in Houston, Lyons says that the “leadership and critical thinking” skills he learned at Southwestern have affected and influenced his career choices over the years. Also the current Chairman of the Board for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ (HLSR), Lyons became involved with the HLSR in 1981 after being introduced to the organization by his in-laws.

Volunteering with the HLSR has become a family tradition, thanks in part to Lyons’ “passion for education and the awareness that the biggest challenge our country has today is the issue of literacy.” The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ is dedicated to providing educational support for young men and women and has committed nearly $375 million to the youth of Texas since HLSR began in 1932.

Because college is only a dream for so many students, the HLSR has made an extraordinary impact on the lives of countless young men and women in its quest to benefit the youth of Texas and support them through education.

Lyons has been a member of the HLSR’s Executive Committee since 2008, is former chairman and president of the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence,™ and is a board member of the Harmony Family Foundation. He and Nina live in Houston; they have three children and three grandchildren.

Story by Kristina Moore

Photography courtesy of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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