Donor Spotlight

Niday Family


The San Jacinto College Foundation honored the Niday family as its 2019 Lifetime Legacy Award recipient. Joy Niday, local business owner and San Jacinto College Foundation board member, along with her daughter, Cara Gillespie, and sister, Patricia Niday, accepted the award at the Foundation’s annual golf tournament luncheon in October. The Niday family has endowed two scholarships to the foundation – the Joy Ruth Niday Scholarship for nursing students and the Capt. John B. ‘Jack’ Niday Jr. Maritime Scholarship.

“When my mother passed away in 2003, I gave thought to how I could honor her,” Joy Niday said. “I decided to set up a scholarship in her name for nursing students. The students who receive the scholarship will become caregivers and will do so much good in the world. My mom had the desire to become a nurse but couldn’t afford to achieve it. It is rewarding to know we are helping someone else make that journey.”

After her father’s passing last year, she decided to endow a second scholarship in his honor. Upon graduating from Milby High School in 1949, John B. ‘Jack’ Niday began working on the Houston Ship Channel. He became a tugboat captain at age 19, and in 1959 he entered the Houston Pilots Association as its youngest deputy and became a full pilot in 1960. 

“The Captain John B. ‘Jack’ Niday Maritime Scholarship is dedicated to supporting San Jacinto College maritime students, in honor of four generations of Niday men who have served on Houston’s Ship Channel,” Joy Niday said. 

Since two of her children attended San Jacinto College, and her business is near the South Campus, she felt that the College was the logical place for her to make a legacy gift to honor her parents. 

The Joy Ruth Niday Scholarship for nursing students is endowed at $70,000, and the Capt. John B. “Jack” Niday Jr. Maritime Scholarship is endowed at $75,000. To date, the Niday family has funded 48 student scholarships. 

For more information about the San Jacinto College Foundation, visit

About the San Jacinto College Foundation

Thousands of students achieve their goals, earn their certificates or degrees, and become positive and productive leaders in our community through the assistance of the San Jacinto College Foundation. Founded in 1996 by community members of East Harris County, the foundation’s mission is to ensure that no one is denied a college education due to a lack of financial means. Over time, the foundation has expanded its role to include a wide variety of programs and services. Individuals, foundations, and corporate partnerships assist in achieving this goal, but there is so much more to do. With your help, the foundation can grow to meet the needs of more students in our community:

  • Give a scholarship
  • Support a veteran
  • Arrange a planned gift
  • Provide program funding
  • Make an annual donation
  • Join the alumni association
  • Volunteer

Your tax-deductible gift will change lives. For more information, contact us at 281-998-6104 or visit 

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