“I have a deep and abiding pride and affection for the University. Pride in what the University stands for and does.”
~ Dr. Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey
On June 27, 2017, Texas Woman’s University mourned the loss of a true Pioneer Woman, Dr. Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey. In 1976, Dr. Blagg-Huey became TWU’s first female president, but her love affair with the university began long before that.
Dr. Blagg-Huey was first introduced to TWU at the age of three when her family moved to Denton. Her father, Henry H. Blagg, worked at the University Press. Dr. Blagg Huey grew up on the campus.
She attended the Demonstration School for kindergarten and first grade when the university was still known as the College of Industrial Arts (CIA), as well as numerous Easter egg hunts held on the TWU lawn. Dr. Blagg-Huey earned her bachelor’s degree from TWU, the Texas State College for Women, in English and voice in 1942, and in 1943 she earned her master’s degree in English from the university as well. Her mother and her sister also attended TWU.
Dr. Blagg-Huey taught English at TSCW for two years before leaving to obtain her second bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky. She went on to receive her Ph.D. from Duke University. In 1971, Dr. Blagg-Huey returned to TWU as the Dean of the Graduate School. During her time as the Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Blagg-Huey worked to develop doctoral programs in reading, English, psychology, and sociology, as well as the establishment of master’s programs in the area of health, such as health administration and health sciences education. In 1976, after the sudden passing of Dr. John Guinn, the TWU Board of Regents named Dr. Blagg-Huey as the acting president of the university. She was officially inaugurated in 1977.
Dr. Blagg-Huey’s legacy lives on at TWU in many ways, her favorite being TWU’s library, which bears her name.
As TWU President, Dr. Blagg-Huey felt connecting with students was important. She made sure to talk to them whenever possible and tried to attend as many campus events as she could.
Dr. Blagg-Huey still enjoyed visiting the campus for special events, most recently at a Homecoming luncheon she attended in April. She was beloved by her students, who remember her for her kindness, her passion, and her cheerful smile.
Many alumni shared their memories and love of Dr. Blagg-Huey upon hearing the news of her passing.
We invite you to share your memories of Dr. Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey in the comments section below.