Retired Professor Emerita of Kinesiology Mary E. Ridgway, PhD ’71, ’74 has held many titles during her 30-year career, from 1976 to 2006, at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), including professor, head coach and chief. She achieved a number of notable accomplishments including leading the NCAA Division I UTA Volleyball team to five national tournaments, leading the U.S. Wheelchair Sports Team in the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics and serving as the chair of UTA’s Department of Kinesiology.

Her favorite title, though, is teacher. “It’s the student — it’s all about them.”

“I loved teaching undergraduates,” says Ridgway. She shares how she truly enjoyed being in the classroom and challenging her students to succeed. “At a young age, I was named the best faculty member at a UTA annual award ceremony, and I’m so proud of that accomplishment.”

Because of TWU, we know we can do anything we put our minds to, and we know how to work hard to achieve our goals.

Mary E. Ridgway, PhD ’71, ’74

So, it’s not surprising that Ridgway’s gifts creating three endowed scholarships at Texas Woman’s are devoted to students.

“They’re to support undergraduate scholarships because that’s what my whole career was about,” says Ridgway. “We wouldn’t have research chemists or physicians if we didn’t get them in at the undergraduate level and support them along the way.”

Ridgway received her master’s and doctorate degrees from Texas Woman’s in physical education, then taught biomechanics and served on the UTA faculty in kinesiology. She was named the vice president for undergraduate academic and student affairs, becoming the third woman at UTA to serve in a vice president role.

The Dr. Paula L. Scott Scholarship Endowment in Communication Sciences is named in honor of Ridgway’s partner, Paula L. Scott, EdD, who passed away in 2014 and served on the faculty as an associate professor in TWU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Oral Health.

The second gift created the Dr. Mary E. Ridgway Scholarship Endowment, which supports kinesiology undergraduates. Ridgway devoted her career to the field of kinesiology and sport, and she still plays golf three times a week.

The Dr. Helen J. Ridgway and Dr. Mary E. Ridgway Scholarship Endowment was created by her third gift to TWU and is named in honor of her sister, Helen J. Ridgway. “My sister was a genius,” says Ridgway. “She was seven years older and was my role model and mentor. Helen was just so humble.”

Helen Ridgway was a biochemist and remained one well into her eighties until she passed away. The endowment in her honor supports students pursuing their bachelor’s in chemistry and biochemistry with a certification from the American Chemical Society.

Ridgway’s generosity to support TWU students and her lifelong dedication to public education and sports are leaving a lasting impact and inspiring future professionals and scholars. “I thought, I would never be where I am today if it hadn’t been for TWU,” says Ridgway.