The Riverwalk Park Committee of the San Marcos Heritage Association is pleased to honor the recipients of this year’s Veramendi Plaza Honor Award: Dr. Jack Byrom and Alison Tudor, who have both made outstanding contributions to the Heritage and Community Association of San Marcos. This award (formerly known as the Tree of Honor Award) was established by the Riverwalk Park Committee in June 2000 to recognize the contributions of Heritage Association members who died during the previous year. The prizes will be awarded at the association’s annual meeting on October 17th.
Dr. Byrom was born in San Antonio on March 2, 1929 and died in Richardson on June 10, 2021. When he graduated from high school, he felt a call to ministry and entered Baylor University in the age of 17. 1946. After graduating from Baylor, Jack enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth where he obtained his master’s degree.
After marrying and starting a family, Jack was called to First Baptist Church in San Marcos in 1961 and in 1965 he was offered the presidency of San Marcos Baptist Academy, but turned it down because he initially thought he would leave the ministry. . How do you go from ministering to a single church to having all the responsibilities involved with about 50 teachers and 550 students? The members of the Academy’s Board of Trustees were persuasive and Jack took the position, leading to a long and successful career at the Academy, where he was loved, serving for 31 years. Upon his retirement, he was honored with congratulatory letters from the President of the United States, the Governor of Texas, and the Mayor of the City of San Marcos.
Jack’s contributions also extended to community life in San Marcos. At the time of the nation’s bicentennial, Jack was an early member of the city’s Bicentennial Commission, which truly ushered in the great interest in preserving the history of San Marcos. Dr. Byrom was enthusiastic about preservation in San Marcos and became very involved in the new heritage association, serving as the association’s third president (1977-1978) and remaining involved and assisting the Riverwalk Park Committee with its plans and events. He really helped start the Heritage Association prominently in the community of San Marcos.
Alison Tudor was born in Hampton, Virginia on September 27, 1964 and died in San Marcos, Texas on November 14, 2021. She was part of a close-knit family with a rich history dating back to early American settlers. Her family’s love of adventure introduced her to a life without boundaries, and she was determined to explore all that life had to offer. While earning her anthropology degree at Southwest Texas State University, Alison fell in love with the beauty and history of San Marcos and the surrounding communities. His natural curiosity, endless enthusiasm, and appreciation for life itself would form the basis of his life experiences. Alison had a passion for nature and lived it like no other. She was a master naturalist and knew the names of every native plant, insect and bird and could even recite their songs!
Alison’s most enduring effort was the knowledge she gained from her home, San Marcos. Over the past thirty-five years, she has devoted countless hours to researching, cataloging and preserving the region’s historical documents, photographs and resources for future generations. His most notable work was the creation of the ongoing Facebook page “Historic Photographs of San Marcos & Hays Co.” which chronicles the life experiences of those who shaped San Marcos and Hays County dating back to the 19th century. His Facebook group has drawn comments from citizens of all walks of life, connecting the stories of our historic white, black and brown communities.
Dr. Byrom and Alison Tudor have served the Heritage Association and the community of San Marcos well for many years and are well deserving of this year’s Veramendi Plaza Honor Award.