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Mary McIntire, Ph.D., Dean

Dean Mary McIntireThe exponential growth of Continuing Studies during the tenure of Dr. Mary McIntire mirrors that of the city of Houston in the same time period. Since the mid 1970s when McIntire was hired as a program director, enrollments have increased from a few hundred per year in the Office of Continuing Studies to nearly 20,000 in the endowed Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.

Named director of Continuing Studies in 1981 and then dean in 1986 (Rice’s first female academic dean), McIntire says the school has been built on the foundations that were laid in the earlier years of the program. “Professional development, languages, personal growth, fundraising, K-12 education – all of these had their origins in the early years. We’ve built on our strengths to serve the needs of the community, and the community has always responded.”

McIntire earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Florida in Gainesville. After teaching high-school English for a year, she moved to Houston to enroll in a doctoral program at Rice. She earned her Ph.D. in English in 1975.

She is active in the Houston community. From 2000 to 2010 she served as a board member of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and from 2007 to 2010 she served as its president – the first president to serve while maintaining a full-time career and the first to serve who had not been a Girl Scout in her youth. In 2013 the Girl Scouts honored her at their annual luncheon for her long-term contributions. She has also served on United Way committees, Leadership Houston, and several advisory boards, including YES Academy and Casa de Esperanza. She received a Meritorious Service Award from the Association of Rice Alumni and was named a “Woman on the Move” by Texas Executive Women in 1999 as well as one of “Houston’s Most Influential Women” in 2008 by Houston Woman Magazine.

Having worked in Continuing Studies from the days it was housed in Lovett Hall, to the basement of Fondren Library, to the building on the edge of campus that it quickly outgrew, McIntire believes the school’s offices and classrooms in the new state-of-the-art D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center are a turning point – a proper representation of Rice’s deep connection with Houston. “The number and size of classrooms as well as the new technology within the classrooms will allow us to reach even wider audiences,” she says. “It’s an exciting time for us as we seek new and better ways to reach and educate the Houston community and beyond.”

McIntire is married to Jim Pomerantz, a professor in the psychology department at Rice, and has two step-sons and a granddaughter.