Margaret Berry’s Top Seven Contributions to UT

Last week, UT president Bill Powers declared that the ground floor atrium in the Student Activities Center would be named for Margaret Berry, with an official ceremony scheduled for Fri., April 13.

Known and loved by generations of University alumni, Berry was named a recipient of the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumni Awards in 1996, and in 2005 was dubbed “Austin’s Most Worthy Citizen.”

But the 96-year-old has become so beloved that her long list of accomplishments can become lost in all the well deserved adoration. Here are seven of Berry’s biggest contributions to the UT community:

  • Founded the first telephone counseling service on the University campus.
  • Taught a UT class for student leaders titled “Self and the Campus Society” for 25 years.
  • Has been known for decades as an “unofficial historian” of the University, and has authored several books on her favorite subject, including: UT Austin Traditions and Nostalgia, UT History 101, and Brick by Golden Brick, a History of Campus Buildings at the University of Texas.
  • Served as president of the Retired Faculty/Staff Association, and has been a longtime and active member of the Texas Exes Scholarship Committee and the UT Heritage Society.
  • At the request of the Provost’s Office (and at the tender age of 80), volunteered to teach a Freshman Seminar class from 1995-2002.
  • Served on the Commission of 125, an appointed group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, which set long-term priorities and goals for the University during its 125th anniversary in 2008.
  • Invited student groups over to her home for years and years, serving them big batches of her famous chicken cacciatore.

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