As a child, Ima Hogg (called “Miss Ima” by her contemporaries), daughter of Texas governor James Stephen Hogg, frequently accompanied her father on business trips to schools for children who were blind and deaf, and state hospitals for adults and children who had been diagnosed with various mental illnesses. Governor Hogg had compassion for these people and hoped for greater support around mental health solutions. It is believed that his concerns were shared privately, and to a great extent with his daughter Ima, who would later carry out that interest in the formation of the Hogg Foundation.
Following James Hogg’s political career, the family moved back to Houston as an early participant in the Texas oil boom, the source of their wealth. All of James and Sallie Hogg’s children—Will, Ima, Mike and Tom—were raised with a strong sense of public responsibility. Sallie’s teachings in the home taught their children “that they must nurture the communities that had nurtured them.” (1)
When their oldest son, Will, died suddenly in 1930, he left his $2.5 million estate to be used for “any foundation or benefaction for the common good of all or any part of Texas…” (2) Remembering her many conversations with Will about mental health, Ima convinced her brother Mike that Will’s estate should be gifted as an endowment for a mental health foundation at his beloved alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin. It was this bequest, handled jointly by Ima and Mike that gave birth to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Hygiene.
Ima had a simple, yet profound vision of the kind of future she hoped the foundation would help bring into existence: To provide a “mental health program for the people of Texas.” Ima imagined a future in which people with mental health challenges would be treated with respect and dignity, and mental health would be seen as indivisible from all other aspects of a flourishing and healthy life.
As the first private foundation dedicated solely to the cause of mental health, the Hogg Foundation would set a vision for what mental health means for the average person and for those in need of support. Early advocates argued that mental health and mental illness existed on a continuum and, therefore, that people living with mental illness should have the chance to receive professional treatment in community-based, rather than institutional, settings. They further argued that mental health principles could be applied to every situation found in everyday life, such as family relations, schools and workplaces.
On the evening of February 12, 1941, Homer Rainey, the president of UT Austin, told the audience at the foundation’s inauguration ceremony that the new foundation “is going to play the most important role in the redirection of education for the next 20 years—mental health for the normal man.” (3) More than 80 years later, the Hogg Foundation continues to shape the mental health landscape in Texas.
(1) “Circuit Riders for Mental Health: The Hogg Foundation in Twentieth-Century Texas,” by William S. Bush.
(2) Ima Hogg Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, Box 3B122.
(3) “Mental Hygiene Foundation at U.T. Inaugurated,” Austin American (Austin, TX), Feb. 13, 1941.
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The Hogg Foundation has supported the mental health of Texans since its establishment in 1940. This timeline features major milestones, key leadership, publications, and more.
Hogg Foundation for Mental Hygiene is established
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Hygiene is established with a $2.5 million endowment to The University of Texas at Austin in memory of William C. Hogg. It is the first foundation entirely devoted to mental health operating under the auspices of a flagship university. Dr. Robert Lee Sutherland is appointed the first executive director.
February 11-13, 1941
Inaugural Conference brings together Texas and national representatives of philanthropy, education and mental health to demonstrate the applicability of mental hygiene to all phases of community life.
Circuit Riders and Lectures in Print
The foundation sponsors lecture tours (“Circuit Riders”) for mental health speakers to travel through Texas bringing the concept of positive, preventive, and therapeutic mental hygiene to towns, big and small.
State Hospital Reform -"Shame of Texas"
The foundation launches its first major reform campaign. Working jointly with the Texas Medical Association, the foundation publishes a series of newspaper stories beginning in 1949, titled “The Shame of Texas”, to bring attention to the disturbing conditions in Texas mental hospitals. Learn more.
Previously The Hogg Foundation for Mental Hygiene, the foundation decided to change its name to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in order to better reflect its mission.
State Hospital Reform - Establishment of the Texas Mental Health Code
The Hogg Foundation collaborates with UT Austin Law School to draft Texas’ first Mental Health Code (HB 6), which overhauls the state’s commitment procedures to mental institutions and sets guidelines for the humane treatment of people in institutions.
Study on "Bridging the Gap from Hospital to Community"
The foundation conducted a study that surveyed the reintegration experiences of patients released from state mental hospitals into their communities, and highlighted the need for community-based services.
Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act (HB 3)
The Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act (HB 3) is passed, establishing the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
August 1, 1966
A student carries out a mass shooting from the Tower observatory on the UT Austin campus, during which Hogg Foundation staffers barricade themselves in their offices in the Tower. Following the tragedy, the foundation commits funds for a three-year study to increase innovative mental health services within the University Counseling Center and to create a 24-hour telephone counseling service for students. Learn more.
Dr. Wayne H. Holtzman is appointed executive director
Wayne Harold Holtzman is currently the Hogg Professor Emeritus at University of Texas at Austin, and formerly a president of the International Union of Psychological Science and Texas Psychological Association. He developed the Holtzman Inkblot Test. As a longtime author, he received the Bruno Klopfer Award in 1988 and the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions from the American Psychological Association in 1996.
Zavala County Mental Health Outreach Program
The Hogg Foundation initiates a program to bring mental health services to Crystal City and Zavala County in South Texas. The program aims to meet the needs of the rural, Spanish speaking clients of the community as well as the needs of juveniles in the areas of counseling and drug education. Learn more.
The Human Condition radio show
The foundation produces and hosts The Human Condition, a radio series featuring interviews with experts on topics relating to mental health and human behavior.
Huston-Tilotson counseling program established
The foundation funds a two-year grant used to help establish a model counseling program at Huston-Tillotson College, an historically black institution in East Austin now known as Huston-Tillotson University, in which young people are given opportunities for study, work experience, and skill training toward the pursuit of health professions.
The First National Congress of Black Professionals in Higher Education
The foundation sponsors a 3-day conference in April that brings Black people from all around the country together in Austin to “develop new conscience toward higher education for the Afro‐American.” President Lyndon B. Johnson was the keynote speaker. Learn more.
Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial Award
The Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial for Mental Health Award is established to provide financial assistance to doctoral students whose dissertation research relates to “the cause, treatment, cure, and prevention of mental disease, mental illness, and mental disorders.” Learn more.
First Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar
The inaugural Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar brings together more than 1,000 delegates for two days focusing on the President’s Commission on Mental Health and its implications for Texas. First Lady Rosalynn Carter is the keynote speaker. View all events.
Ima Hogg Centennial Day and Children's Mental Health Day established in Houston
School of the Future
The foundation launches the School of the Future initiative, a five-year, $2 million demonstration project carried out in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to provide a broad spectrum of health and human services delivered through neighborhood schools. Learn more.
Dr. Charles M. Bonjean is appointed executive director
Charles Bonjean began his career at The University of Texas in 1963 as an assistant professor with the Department of Sociology. He chaired the department from 1972 to 1974 and was the Hogg Professor of Sociology until he retired in 2002. A prolific researcher, writer, and editor, he authored, co-authored, and contributed to more than 65 books, articles, chapters, and book reviews in journals such as the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.
New strategic plan re-defines focus
The foundation’s grantmaking efforts are realigned to focus on children and their families, youth development, and minority mental health.
The Harry E. and Bernice M. Moore Fellowship Fund is established to support doctoral students at UT Austin who are completing a dissertation on the human experience in crises. Learn more.
Dr. King Davis is appointed executive director
As executive director of the Hogg Foundation, he led the effort to establish a competitive process for awarding grants to achieve greater results with the foundation’s limited funds. The foundation, under Davis’ leadership, also renewed its interest in policy, which had been of profound importance in the organization’s early decades but had not been a priority for some time.
New strategic plan re-defines focus
The foundation’s grantmaking efforts are re-defined to focus on integrated health care, cultural competence, and workforce development.
Integrated Health Care
The Hogg Foundation’s Integrated Health Care Initiative is created to promote the effective identification and treatment of mental health problems in primary care settings.
Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr. is appointed executive director
A native Texan and licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr. is the fifth Executive Director to lead the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since its creation in 1940 at The University of Texas at Austin, where he oversees the vision, mission, goals, strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the foundation. Learn more.
The Foundation focuses on advancing recovery and wellness for the people of Texas
The foundation’s grantmaking efforts focus on empowering consumers to participate at all levels in the systematic reform of mental health care in Texas. Other strategic priorities include mental health policy reform, integrated care, trauma-informed care, and workforce development.
Policy Academy and Fellows
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health launches the Mental Health Policy Academy and Fellows initiative with the goal to increase individuals’ and organizations’ capacity and expertise to advance mental health policy in Texas, while also increasing the consumer voice in policy development and implementation. Learn more.
"A Guide to Understanding Mental Health Systems and Services in Texas" first published
This comprehensive resource is designed to help advocates, policy makers, families and individuals prepare for and navigate mental health systems and services in Texas. Learn more.
During the 75th Anniversary celebrations, the foundation documents and reflects upon its history, which is a part of the broader history of mental health systems and concepts in Texas and the United States. Central to this celebration is the publication of a book by William Bush titled Circuit Riders for Mental Health: The Hogg Foundation and the Transformation of Mental Health in Texas.
New strategic plan re-defines focus
The foundation announces a strategic shift to focus on supporting community environments that promote mental health and well-being. In recognition of the complex and systemic nature of the barriers to mental health, the Hogg Foundation’s strategic direction includes four strategies – Shared Inquiry, Community Implementation, Policy Engagement, and Foundation Effectiveness.
Collaborative Approaches to Well-Being in Rural Communities
Growing out of the foundation’s new strategic direction, The Hogg Foundation awards $4.5 million in grants to six Texas organizations to support collaborative approaches to well-being in rural communities in July. The grants will strengthen efforts to transform the environments where people live, learn, work, play and pray, bringing a population health approach to support resilience, mental health, and well-being. Learn more.
Communities of Care
In June the foundation launches Communities of Care, an initiative that supports collaborative approaches to well being in the Houston area, with grants to transform the environments where people live, learn, work, play and pray, bringing a population health approach to support community resilience, mental health and well-being with a focus on children and youth of color and their families. A total of $11.5 million in grant funds were awarded to eleven organizations over five-year grant terms. Learn more.
Texas Communities Count
The Hogg Foundation awards $2.1 million for the Texas Communities Count initiative, which supports complete count efforts in Texas for the 2020 U.S. Census. The primary focus is to aid collaborative approaches that will reach traditionally hard-to-count (HTC) populations, communities and geographic areas throughout the state. The goal is to encourage participation in the 2020 Census so that every person in Texas is counted. Learn more.
The world shuts down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the foundation awards $473,117+ to over 25 organizations in response to the unprecedented need for economic, health, and safety relief. Learn more.