“When Ronald B. Jager retired from the University in 1993 his plan was to write a monograph on urbanization in Texas, which he had been researching for years. That plan was dramatically altered the following year when Ron and his wife Marie learned that the City Council had decided not to take advantage of the possibilities offered by an extraordinary gift from local telephone company owner and philanthropist, H.Y. Price, Jr.”
SPOTLIGHT ON RON JAGER
AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY
A STATEMENT BY THE SAN MARCOS
CITY ARTS COMMISSION
“We are here to honor Ron and Marie Jager. I feel honored to be able to present this to them. While I wrote their nomination, the spirit that moved my fingers, and the immense appreciation, respect, admiration and affection for Ron and Marie are shared by all of us here tonight and, I think, thousands of our fellow citizens.
I actually feel that we should apologize to them for not honoring them like this years ago, and for the fact that we cannot give them a million-dollar cash prize like the Nobel. Ron and Marie Jager deserve this award in so many ways that I can hardly state them.
Retired (1967-1993) Texas State Professor Dr. Ron Jager and his wife, Marie, a retired high school drama teacher, have been serving the San Marcos Community for over 35 years. The Jagers are as much an institution in the history of San Marcos cultural development as the building they restored, maintain and operate, the Price Seniors Center.
Since 1979, they personally created the San Marcos Performing Arts Association, Summer in the Park, Sights & Sounds of Christmas, a series of summer creative arts workshops in each of the town’s elementary schools for several years, the major year-long development of “Fest-A-Fair” for the Texas Sesquicentennial in Strahan Coliseum in 1986, which drew 9,000 people and involved multiple community organizations and businesses.
They also created multiple arts programs for kids and adults at the Price Center over recent years, such as a seven-day-a week, three week Musical Theatre Boot Camp in 2012 that performed “The King and I” for audiences averaging eighty over nine performances.
After the late philanthropist H. Y. Price donated the 1890s-era First Christian Church building to the City of San Marcos, a study indicated it could not be practically renovated, and the City considered tearing it down. Through petitions, letters to the local paper and the founding of the Greater San Marcos Seniors Association, the Jagers won a long-term lease for the renovation and maintenance of the Price Center in 1998. Since then, they have restored the building, with donations from many local citizens, including Emmett McCoy, into the beautiful historical site that it is today.
With an open door policy for community gatherings, the Jagers host a number of activities at the center including instructional classes, productions with Texas State’s Friends of Fine Arts, and the Folk Music Series.
Now in their late ‘80s, Dr. Ron and Marie Jager continue working 60 hours a week, managing the Price Center, making meaningful and impactful contributions to the artistic and cultural life of our city, and showing a continuing willingness to advocate for new projects and to take chances on new ideas.
RON & MARIE JAGER