Estate gift benefits sociology scholarships for undergraduate, graduate students


Jayme Blaschke | April 1, 2024

lillian dees headshot
Lillian Dees, former LBJ Student Center Director

Lillian Dees, a Texas State University alum, former director of the LBJ Student Center and senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, has designated the Lillian Dees and Darla Wood Endowed Scholarship in Sociology as the beneficiary of a generous estate gift.

The endowment provides scholarships to undergraduates and graduate students enrolled at TXST in the College of Liberal Arts pursuing a degree in sociology who have documented financial need. Preference will be given to students with a documented disability. Scholarship recipients must maintain a GPA of 2.75 or higher. The scholarship will be offered through the Department of Sociology.

The Department of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts established the permanent endowment in 2021 to honor Dees and her daughter Darla Wood. Wood was a student at then-Southwest Texas State in 1984 when she suffered an automobile accident that left her quadriplegic. Wood refused to let her paralysis keep her from living life to the fullest and returned to school within months of her accident to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration in 1988. Wood married in 1989 and worked steadily for almost 20 years before her death in 2007.

Dees first came to TXST in 1962 as a secretary for the Department of Journalism and News Service. She worked in News Service during the early years of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency. She then worked as an administrative assistant to the dean of the School of Liberal Arts and administrative assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs before being named director of the LBJ Student Center. Dees was also a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and taught introduction to sociology, aging and society, and death and dying. Dees officially retired from the university in 2000 but continued teaching in the Department of Sociology until January 2020. 

Dees earned her B.A. in 1984 and her M.A. in 1989 from TXST. In 1995 the TXST Alumni Association presented her with the Alumni Achiever Award. She is a lifetime member of Forever Bobcats and a former Alumni Association board member. 

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922