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TWU official chosen for hall of fame

Profile image for By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer
By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer

Saunders one of five in state to earn honor

The Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, housed at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, will have one of its own inducted this year.

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders is among a group of five Texas women being inducted into the hall of fame. The distinction celebrates accomplishments of those who have made significant contributions in areas such as business, education, philanthropy and military and public service.

Saunders is the executive director of the TWU Leadership Institute.

“When you get this kind of recognition, it’s always never about you. It’s about the support you received in whatever organization you are a part of” Saunders said. “In this case, it is our students who have really shined and showed that leadership is important.”

Established in 1984 — and with 100 inductees — the hall of fame membership includes former first ladies, astronauts, entrepreneurs and Olympic athletes. The permanent exhibit honoring these women was established by the Governor’s Commission for Women in 2003 on the campus of TWU. The exhibit inside Hubbard Hall features biographies and photographs of each inductee.

The women were nominated by their peers and selected by an independent panel of judges. Saunders said she does not know who nominated her.

The fact that she is a TWU graduate and employee is a bonus to receiving the award. Saunders said she doesn’t set about winning distinctions for the work she does, she is fulfilling her role.

The 34-year Air Force veteran noted a quote from Winston Churchill that said, “It’s not enough to do your best. You must succeed in what is necessary.”

Saunders said everyone has a role to play. When she was in the military, that role was specific and there was no doubt in her mind as to what it was, she said. When she returned to TWU, Saunders said she wanted to take some of that same training and knowledge to help the school as well as the Dallas/Fort Worth area where she participates in a number of veterans’ activities.

“I strive to use that skill, not only in my university but as a part of the community,” she said.

Gov. Rick Perry congratulated all of this year’s inductees in a recent news release.

The governor said, “By recognizing these exceptional women, we are also inspiring young Texans to work hard and become the great leaders of tomorrow.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is .



The ceremony is open to the public and will be at Texas Woman’s University at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12. Guests are asked to RSVP to Judy Elias at TWU by e-mailing or by calling 940-898-3209.

The 2012 inductees are:

•  Arts and humanities: Barbara Smith Conrad, Center Point

•  Business: Nina Godiwalla, Houston

•  Military: retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders, Denton

•  Philanthropy: Anne Lesley Corn, Austin

•  Public service: Justice Harriet O’Neill, Austin