John Garland Flowers, college president and education promoter, was born at San Antonio, Texas, on October 17, 1895, the son of Richard Morton and Mary Frances (Butts) Flowers. He attended Southwest Texas State College (now Southwest Texas State University) from 1911 to 1913, received a B.A. degree from East Texas State College (now East Texas State University) in 1924, and earned an M.A. in 1925 and a Ph.D. in 1932 at Columbia University. He married Lora Hogan in 1916, and they had two children.
After teaching in the public schools of Texas from 1912 to 1917, Flowers was principal of the demonstration school and later director of teacher education at East Texas State College (1921–28), professor of education at New Jersey State Teachers College (1928–37), and president of Pennsylvania State College at Lock Haven (1937–42). In September 1942 he became the third president of Southwest Texas State College, a position he held for twenty-two years. He assumed a role of educational leadership at both the state and national levels. He served as a member and later as chairman of the standards committee of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and was president of the association in 1950–51. He was a member of the interim committee that founded the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. In 1949 he was a special consultant to the educational branch of the American military government of occupied Germany, where he assisted in establishing a teacher-training program for Germany. In 1959 he was chairman of a committee appointed by the council of presidents of state-supported institutions of higher learning to study library needs in Texas colleges and universities.
Flowers was a director of the Texas Society for Crippled Children for three years, vice president for a term, and president from 1949 to 1951. He was also governor of Rotary District 584 in 1957–58. He retired on August 31, 1964, and died on February 23, 1965, in Harlingen.