By Jennifer Meers Jones ’08
Fourteen years ago, unbeknownst to his wife, John Shannon met with then-president Dr. Jerry Bawcom to establish the Pat Lockridge Shannon Presidential Endowed Scholarship in his wife’s honor.
Recently, Pat Shannon ’53 returned the favor.
The John Harold Shannon, Sr., Endowed Scholarship was established by the Shannon family as a tribute to John, who passed away in 2001.
“The real measure of a man is his family,” Shannon said. “This scholarship was not my idea; it was the kids’ idea. But of course, I was happy to go along it. John loved UMHB, and I am so pleased that we will be able to help students attend this wonderful university through this scholarship,” Shannon said.
Friends and family gathered on campus at the Shannon Commons building—named in honor of John— Jan. 12 to commemorate the event and unveil the plaque that will be placed on the wall of Presidential Endowed Scholarships outside of Sanderford Administration Complex.
Dr. Bawcom, a longtime friend and golf buddy of John’s, spoke about him during the event.
“John was the best example I know of a dedicated and enduring UMHB spouse. There is no telling how many homecomings, class meetings, and other UMHB gatherings John joined in with Pat. He was immensely supportive when Pat served as president of the alumni association. And when Pat was named a trustee at the university, it was just like getting another team partner to help and advise and work with the university,” Bawcom said.
After serving in the United States Navy, John used his G.I. Bill to attend Baylor University. While attending First Baptist Church, Belton, he met his future wife, Pat Lockridge, a student at Mary Hardin-Baylor College. John and Pat enjoyed 48 years of marriage, raising a family that now includes three children: son John H. Shannon, Jr.; son Patrick and his wife, Judy Shannon; daughter Patsy and her husband, Donald Deere; and five grandsons.
Prior to retirement, John was an accountant in civil service for the U.S. Army for 30 years at Fort Hood, Texas; Orleans, France; and Mannheim and Bremerhaven, Germany. An active member of First Baptist Church in Killeen, he was a teacher, Sunday School superintendent, and chairman of the deacons.
Over the years, the Shannons have generously supported many campus projects, including an office in the Paul and Jane Meyer Christian Studies Center; the Education Dean’s Suite in the Parker Academic Center, and the Student Lounge in Mayborn Campus Center. Always a great champion of the university, John was named an honorary member of the Alumni Association in 1998.
Pat said the endowed scholarship honors the legacy her husband left behind.
“I think John would be pleased. He loved the college; he saw how students were challenged and loved and cared for. Those who work on this campus are really the ones to be thanked. You keep taking care of our kids, and we’ll keep working to get them to come.”