ARA Executive Committee
Retired Dean, Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies
BA 1965, University of Florida
MA 1968, University of Florida
PhD 1975, Rice University
ARA Board term ends: 2022
Get to Know Mary
For more than 40 years, Mary McIntire has empowered Houstonians and lifelong learners from around the world to build brighter futures. After earning her Rice doctorate in English in 1975, McIntire joined Continuing Studies as a program director. Exceptional series of courses like “Interpreting America” and “Living Texas” materially connected Rice to the city of Houston and set high standards for the array of courses to come. McIntire was named the founding dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies in 1986, making her the first woman at Rice to lead a school. Under that leadership, enrollments increased from hundreds per year to nearly 20,000. In addition, she joined Susanne ’62 and Melbern ’61 Glasscock to lead the campaign for the opening of the state-of-the-art Anderson-Clarke Center, the home of the Glasscock School. McIntire’s many contributions to Rice also include serving as university representative to the Texas Coordinating Board, co-chair of the groundbreaking committee for the Baker Institute for Public Policy, co-chair of the Rice United Way campaign and member of the Friends of Fondren Library board. Beyond Rice, she served on United Way committees and as a member of Leadership Houston, Leadership America, the Rotary Club of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership Education and Workforce Advisory Committee. Active in the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, she served as its president and chair of the board from 2007 to 2010 — their first president to serve while maintaining a full-time career. Her honors include Houston YWCA Woman of the Year in Education, Houston Women’s Federation Woman of the Year and the Association of Rice Alumni Meritorious Service Award. In 2008, she was named to the inaugural group of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women” by Houston Woman Magazine. Mary is the recipient of the 2018 Laureates Awards Gold Medal, the highest honor of the Association of Rice Alumni.
What part of serving on the ARA Board are you most excited about?
I applaud the ARA’s recognition of the importance of graduate degree alumni to the aspirations of the organization and look forward in particular to working with others on the board to advance that goal of strengthening bonds with that significantly large group of Rice alumni.
What is your favorite “Only at Rice” memory or story?
Graduate students at Rice, and I was one them, typically do not experience the memorable undergraduate students’ activities. However, like undergraduates, I did have the opportunity to interact with and learn from fine Rice faculty members, not only distinguished scholars but also great teachers. I think Rice provided me with a distinctive experience that graduate students at large universities often did not have.
If you could give one piece of advice to Rice students, what would it be?
Take advantage of these college years to explore both vocations and avocations. With rapid changes in technology and the workplace, your vocation may shift repeatedly over the span of your work life, but the pleasures of your avocation—arts, creative hobbies, sports, games, reading—can sustain and delight you for your entire life. At some point, your avocation might actually become your vocation. Above all, never stop learning and exploring. Learn for life.