Jocelyn L. Straus Headshot

Jocelyn L. Straus

Chair Emeritus

Jocelyn L. Straus graduated from St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio and Mills College in Oakland, California.  She is married to Joe R. Straus, Jr. and has three children Jocelyn E. Selig, Susan B. Straus and Joseph Richard Straus, III and grandchildren Stuart Straus Selig, Jocelyn Eleanor Selig, Sara Eleanor Straus and Robyn Bronson Straus.

She is one of San Antonio’s most active community leaders.  She is Founding Chairman of the Foundation for Cultural Arts in San Antonio, also known as the Las Casas Foundation, and is the Founding President of the San Antonio Performing Arts Association.  She is the driving force behind the restoration of San Antonio’s historic Majestic and Charline McCombs Empire Theatres, focusing attention and resources for their continuing preservation.

She has served time on numerous boards such as:  the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on the Arts; National Council on the Arts and advisory member of the National Endowment of the Arts; the Army Community Council; The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Fine Arts and the Humanities; Bexar County Hospital District, Cancer Therapy and Research Center; Texas Research and Technology Foundation Advisory Board; the Chairman Development Board of the University of Texas at San Antonio as well serving with numerous other committees and organizations.

Joci serves on the National Advisory Board of Jim Cullum’s Riverwalk Jazz and is one of six members who serve on the State Preservation Board being the only citizen member since the others are all elected State officials. This committee oversees preservation, maintenance and restoration of the State Capitol and other buildings.  She is the former Chair and currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County as well as being the Founder of the Woman’s Leadership Council of the United Way. Joci was appointed during the Reagan-Bush years to the National Council on the Arts where she serves as member emeritus.  She has served as President of the Development Board for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for twenty years.

Joci has been honored with numerous honors and awards some to include:  Recipient of San Antonio Junior League Award for “Volunteer Extraordinaire” 1982, San Antonio Light nomination for “Today’s Woman” 1983, Elected to San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame in Volunteer Service Category 1984, “Visionary Award” given by Texas Society to Prevent Blindness 1988, Award for “Outstanding Community Service” from American Heart Association 1989, Recipient of first “Star Award” given by San Antonio Performing Arts Association 1990, “The Yellow Rose Award” given by Juvenile Diabetes Association of San Antonio 1990, Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor Award 1994, Battle of Flowers Parade Grand Marshall San Antonio Fiesta 1996, U.T. Austin School of Architecture Interior Design Award for the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre 1999, AVANCE “Mother of the Year” Award 2000, Girl Scouts of San Antonio and Bexar County Trefoil Award 2001, Junior Achievement of South Texas “San Antonio Business Hall of Fame Laureate” 2002, “Downtowner of the Year” Award 2003 The Downtown Alliance, “2005 Laura Bush Service & Education Award” from Republican Business Women of Bexar County, City Year Champion Award 2007, Jocelyn and Joe Straus Endowed Chair in Trauma Research established by The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 2007.

Joe and Joci Straus have also been Co-Chairs of the Celebration of Reading since its inception when Barbara Bush began this very important Foundation for Family Literacy.

Joci Straus is a formidable advocate for national funding of the San Antonio’s arts agencies and is accomplished in voluntary giving, voluntary service and voluntary association for the benefit of the citizens of San Antonio and Texas.