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Peck, Margaret (1904–1986)

Margaret C. Berry Biography Entry

Margaret Peck, university administrator, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. George W. Peck, Jr., was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 24, 1904. She grew up in Vermont. She received a B.A. in 1925 from Middlebury College and an M.A. in 1927 from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also attended Union Theological Seminary in 1935. After serving as social director of the University of Michigan School of Nursing from 1927 to 1930, she went to the University of Texas as a student life secretary for women and as YWCA secretary. From 1937 to 1943 she was social director of women's residence halls, and from 1944 to 1959 she was assistant and associate dean of women. In 1959 she became dean of women on the retirement of Miss Dorothy L. Gebauer. At the end of her tenure as dean of women, Peck was dean of students ad interim in the 1968–69 school year. She retired after serving as consultant to the dean of students in 1969–70.

Her forty-year career at the University of Texas was interrupted only by service in 1936–37 as director of women's activities at Middlebury College in Vermont. In 1971, as she retired, she was cited for her distinguished career in education by the National Association of Women Deans, Administrators and Counselors (now the National Association of Women in Education). In 1983 she was among the first six people to receive the Nowotny Medal, given by the University of Texas to retired student-life specialists who have had outstanding careers. A scholarship honoring her was endowed by the Panhellenic Council in May 1972, designated for a woman student returning to the university to further her education.

Margaret Peck was known for her personal interest in students and for what a colleague referred to as a "philosophy of tolerance." She developed an advising system that involved peer counseling in women's residence halls. In addition to membership in the National Association for Women Deans, Administrators and Counselors, she was a member (and once served as president) of the Texas Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors. She also belonged to the Southwest Council of Christian Associations, the Texas Mental Health Association, the Texas Fine Arts Association, the National Audubon Society, the Association of Higher Education, the National Education Association, Mortar Board, and Kappa Kappa Gamma. She died in Austin on February 5, 1986. Her ashes were buried in Fairview, New Jersey.

Austin American-Statesman, September 3, 1959, December 3, 1968, March 27, 1971, February 6, 1986. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators
  • Women

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Margaret C. Berry, “Peck, Margaret,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 06, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: