Donors making a difference: Niday family honored with annual Lifetime Legacy Award


Paying it forward is often how people describe a way to thank and continue the same generosity, mentorship, and caring that leads to possibility. Whether it’s time, talent, or treasure, those that want to make an impact of any kind find ways that they can support the people and causes that mean the most to them. Matching donors to student needs is something the San Jacinto College Foundation can do for their donors- showing them how their gifts are making a direct impact on students’ lives. 

The Foundation matches donors to various programs, initiatives, and student needs. This allows donors several giving options such as general recurring giving, regular scholarships, scholarship endowments, and planned giving. Since so many facets of accessing and completing a college credential are even more difficult now, the Foundation also provides donors with opportunities to donate directly to emergency funding for students. These funds help students with any emergency needs that arise such as utility bills, child care, groceries, and other immediate essential needs.

“The San Jacinto College Foundation helps our students by shouldering some of the financial burden that comes with pursuing higher education,” said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “Each year, our generous donors change the course of so many students’ lives. While the scholarships and emergency funding they provide mean less stress for our students, the support also motivates them to persevere. Thanks to you, our students are achieving their educational and career goals.”

Having a number of giving options also helps donors budget and plan for their financial gifts. With general giving and regular scholarships, donors can give a set amount each year knowing that their funds will be used based upon the criterion they set for their scholarship or recurring gift. Scholarship endowments provide scholarship funding to students for years. Endowments are larger amounts donated to the College which it manages in perpetuity. Like regular scholarships, the donor still has to specify how they want their endowment to be used, however, the principal of the endowment is untouched, so the scholarship will remain a consistent source of aid for students that produces funds from the interest earned. Planned gifts allow donors to incorporate the College into their will as a recipient of the planned amount they specify after their passing. This is yet another option donors have to leave an additional educational legacy to ensure that San Jacinto College students exceed their goals thanks to their generous gift.

In 2019, the San Jacinto College Foundation honored the Niday family as its annual Lifetime Legacy Award recipient. The Niday family has endowed two scholarships- 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,” said Joy Niday, local business owner and San Jacinto College Foundation board member. “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 in 2018, Niday also established the Captain John B. “Jack” Niday Maritime Scholarship in honor of him and his longtime contribution to the maritime industry working on the Houston Ship Channel. “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,” Niday added. To date, the Niday family has funded more than 48 student scholarships.

Find out more information about giving to the San Jacinto College Foundation

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.