FCS Department to dedicate Margaret Lea Houston portrait

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences will dedicate a portrait of Margaret Lea Houston on Friday at 2 p.m. on the second floor of the Margaret Lea Houston Building. The portrait will be presented by the Texas State Society of the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists.

The idea for a portrait dedication began with a name change of the building from Academic Building II to the Margaret Lea Houston building in 2009. Janis White, Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, explained the process of the building’s name change.

“We were never very attached to the name ‘ABII’ for our building, and those of us who occupied it at the time were very welcoming of the name change,” White said. “Another thing that, to me, made this name change very appropriate was that all three of these departments or offices were headed with a female administrator, so to choose Margaret’s name was very fitting.”

The portrait will be presented by the Texas State Society of the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists, a group that has fundraised for an exhibit case for the rotunda of the main museum building as well as the historical marker in front of The Woodlands Home on the museum grounds.

“I was approached by Mac Woodward, who is director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum,” White said. “He said a group from the community had come to him wanting to know whether we were interested in a portrait of Margaret Lea Houston for our building. I checked with the other faculty in the department, and there was support for this idea.”

White talked about how the department was able to personalize the portrait to the faculty’s preferences.

“The people involved were very sensitive to the wishes of the department,” said White. “We were allowed to choose the specific portrait, to decide on either color or gray tones and to choose the frame.”

The event will consist of a brief history about the building and about Margaret Lea Houston and the impact she had on this state and community during her time. Those who attend will also be able to witness this portrait and the accompanying plaque being presented to the department.

“We are seeking to give this event the dignity and importance it deserves,” White said. “While some may consider that Margaret was a ‘homemaker’ for her time, she was that and much, much more. This event elevates the activities of running a home and estate to an appropriate stature, and, in doing so, honors this wonderful woman whose history is significant to our campus, our community, our state and our nation.”

This event is free of charge and will be open to the public.

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