Endowment Information

AEF endowments help fund college educations, classroom supplies for new-to-the-profession teachers, and monetary awards, making a difference in the lives of teachers and students in Abilene ISD for generations to come. A permanent record of donors and gifts is maintained by the AEF. The Community Foundation of Abilene manages the investments of the donations and contributions to these endowments. The principal gift remains and the income continues to generate funds for teachers and students in perpetuity. Their website is www.cfabilene.org

Abilene Education Foundation Endowment

In 2005, Julia Jones Matthews established an endowment benefitting Abilene Education Foundation.  The corpus of that endowment is owned and managed by the Community Foundation of Abilene.  Interest earned helps with AEF’s operational expenses. The Board of Directors for AEF continues to focus on growth of the organization’s endowment through its annual fund and corporate drive efforts.

The Abilene Education Foundation has established a second endowment fund.  This endowment, initially established with generous contributions from Lee and Ruth Caldwell, continues to grow and support AEF programs.

The Martha Scott Carlson Fund for AEF GIFT Grants Endowment

Martha Scott Carlson

Martha was a sweet gracious lady who continuously carried a joy for friends and family and a love for education. She was regarded as a wonderful friend, cherishing and helping those around her, wherever she lived. While in Abilene, she donated funds to AEF to begin the GIFT Grant program.  She provided donations through AEF to have a security officer present at the AISD School Board meetings and funded needs in the deaf education classroom at Ward Elementary.  In her memory, her family established an endowment held at the Community Foundation of Abilene to continue to support the GIFT (Giving to First-time Teachers) Grant each year with funds to help first-year, new-to-the-profession teachers outfit their classrooms.  What an amazing tribute and honor given in memory of this former teacher and truly generous individual!

Martha Kiel Scholarship Endowment (NEW)

The Martha Kiel Scholarship Fund honors long-time beloved art teacher Martha Kiel’s legacy by providing a scholarship to a high school student participating in the annual Young Masters Juried Art Exhibition at the Grace Museum. A truly rema

rkable woman, Martha Kiel has been described as a “master teacher” who “touches children’s souls.”  Kiel earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls in 1953 and achieved an elementary education teaching certificate from Hardin-Simmons University and a Master of Education degree from Abilene Christian University. Instructing approximately 17,000 students in her 34-year AISD teaching career, Kiel taught at Jefferson Junior High and Cooper High School, while serving as an adjunct professor at McMurry University. At Hardin-Simmons University she served as an adjunct professor from 1974-2013 and was head of the art department from 2000-2006 prior to retirement. While at Cooper she began the Advanced Placement classes for the visual arts and started the Visual Arts Scholastic Event for Region 14. Kiel demonstrated her passion to promote art programs for all students by connecting, mentoring, and inspiring all students regardless of their background.

Royce Curtis Excellence in Education Endowed Scholarship Fund

2016-2017 Royce Curtis Excellence in Education Endowed Scholarship recipient Nydia Gomez.

During their 20TH class reunion, the AHS Class of 1993 announced the establishment of an endowed scholarship in honor of retired principal Royce Curtis.  The initial endowment was established by AHS graduate Dr. Bracken Kolle.


To learn more about the Royce Curtis Excellence in Education Endowed Scholarship, click here


Julia Jones Matthews Endowment

In 2005, Julia Jones Matthews established an endowment benefiting Abilene Education Foundation. The corpus of that endowment is owned and managed by the Community Foundation of Abilene. Mrs. Matthews forever changed the landscape of Abilene. Over a lifetime of “anonymous” philanthropy, she rendered a tour de force for her hometown, quietly, exquisitely, selflessly. Her gracious spirit and her generous heart worked powerful and positive changes among legions throughout this community and beyond. She was the quintessence of the scriptural verse “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Interest earned helps with AEF’s operational expenses.

Edwin and Agnes Jennings Teaching Excellence Award Endowment

2017 TLC Winners with Mr. Jennings

With the donation of 3,000 shares of Exxon Mobile stock from Mr. Edwin Jennings, Jr. a permanent endowment held at Community Foundation of Abilene has been established to honor teachers making a difference in the lives of students in Abilene ISD.  This endowment will allow AEF to continue these awards yearly for generations to come, as part of TLC (Teachers in the Limelight Celebration).

To learn more about the Teacher in the Limelight Celebration, click here.

AHS & CHS Alumni Endowment Funds

In 2009, former Abilene High School and Cooper High School alumni helped to establish the groundwork for two additional endowments to provide scholarships for AHS and CHS graduates.  Abilene Education Foundation is working with donors and class reunions to grow these endowments so that scholarships can be awarded every year to Cooper and Abilene High graduates.

To learn more about the AHS and CHS Alumni Scholarships, click here.



To read more about the Gift Grant, click here.

Legacy Donors

Mindy Morris: In 2011 Mindy Morris, AISD employee, photographer and long-time AEF enthusiast became our first legacy donor by including AEF in her estate planning.  She takes pictures with the Prize Parade of STAR Teacher Grant winners.  By including AEF in her estate, she leaves a lasting legacy of education for future AISD students.

Mike Dudley: In November of 2013, Mike Dudley announced his Legacy Gift, with the bequest of 401K stocks.  He has also established a bank account that will provide checks payable to AEF for the GIFT Grant Program.

Dr. Bracken Kolle: Dr. Kolle has included a portion of his estate to help continue to fund the Royce Curtis Excellence in Education Endowed Scholarship, providing a lasting legacy for the students of Abilene High School.

Anonymous: Two anonymous donors have included AEF in their estate planning. The details will be announced at a later date. One will directly benefit the COOL program and the other AEF.

If you would like to contribute to any of AEF’s endowment funds please contact Christine Curtis-Carr at 325-677-1444 ext. 5577 or christine.curtis-carr@abileneisd.org.