Endowment Establishes Geer Scholarship in Technology at LIT in honor of Vidor men
Eva D. Geer and her mother Joyce L. Geer, have established the Geer Memorial Scholarship in Technology in honor three Vidor natives, Joseph Jesse Geer Sr., a World War II veteran, and his sons Joseph Jesse Geer Jr. and Robert Edward Geer.
Joseph Jesse Geer Sr. served twelve years in the U.S. Navy before returning to the Golden Triangle and becoming a journeyman pipefitter with Pipefitters Local #195 in Nederland. During his career, Geer was well regarded by his crews and the management of the companies he worked for. He remained with the union until his death in 1983.
Joseph Jesse, Jr. and Robert followed in their father’s footsteps. Jesse Jr. served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Like his father before him, he returned home and joined Local #195. He worked throughout the Golden Triangle as a journeyman pipefitter and welder. When union jobs became scarce, Jesse changed direction and earned a degree in computer drafting technology. He died in 2007 shortly after receiving his degree.
Robert worked as a laborer on many jobs with his father and brother. At eighteen, he entered Local #195’s apprentice program and often brought home samples of his welding and cuts for his father to critique. He was proud to have completed the apprenticeship and to have become a journeyman pipe fitter like his father and older brother. Robert was killed in an offshore accident in 1984.
The Geer family hopes the scholarship will continue the legacy of the Geer men by helping LIT students financially, enabling them to obtain a degree that will lead to a rewarding career. Eva D. Geer and her mother Joyce L. Geer currently live in Houston.
“With the decreases we have seen in recent years in funding from the state and the increasing costs of higher education, scholarships are very important to LIT and our students,” said Janet Brugger, Director of Development at LIT and Executive Director of LIT Foundation. “The scholarship will be available in the fall semester and will benefit students who are considering enrolling any one of our technology programs.”
Students eligible for the scholarship can receive an Associate in Applied Science degree in a variety of fields including advanced engine, computer drafting, industrial maintenance, process operating, and welding technologies. Students applying for the scholarship must be incoming freshmen, graduates of Vidor High School or residents of Vidor for at least five years, and must pursue an associate’s degree in a program in the Department of Technology. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 grade-point-average and remain in good academic standing for the duration of the scholarship. In keeping with the Geer tradition, first preference will be given to individuals who have either served in the military or are entering the welding program.
The family stated, “The Geer family is pleased and proud that we can honor the men in our family this way. We look forward to meeting the first of many recipients of the scholarship.”