As the centennial approaches, there are two significant years that shaped Rice’s history.
1968 – Office of Continuing Studies Opens
1986 – Mary McIntire, continuing studies, is named first woman dean.
We sat down with Dean McIntire and asked her to take us on a walk down memory lane.
Reflecting on 1986, what was it like being at Rice, being a female and being named the first woman academic dean?
It was lonely at first, well not really [she smiled]. I was the only woman dean for eight years. Rice was very different in the 80s; it had a simpler structure. Rice was smaller, more personal, and there was a lot of face-to-face and phone interaction, all before the email and social media boom.
You have played a significant role in Rice’s history and so has Continuing Studies. How do you feel about that?
I feel fortunate to have been a part of the history of Rice and Continuing Studies. We are blessed at Continuing Studies with really good staff members. When I first started, I could do (and did) all of the jobs. I carried slide projectors to class, picked up instructors at the airport and enrolled students. Today, our staff of 45 constantly creates new ideas and solves issues independently – which is a good thing.
How has Continuing Studies played a role in your life?
It is a pleasure to get paid for something that I like to do. I have helped make a difference in the lives of thousands of people.
What lies ahead for you and for Continuing Studies?
A bright future lies ahead. Our dream for a new building is coming true, and Continuing Studies has an opportunity to grow and thrive in whole new ways.
The Centennial Celebration is October 10-14 on campus. Visit centennial.rice.edu to make your plans today.