Dean Mary Olive McPhaul passed away on January 8, 2013. In my "USL" days in the Department of Student Personnel, I always looked forward to meetings with her because she was so kind and encouraging, and seemed to really "get" what it was like to be young and on your own for the first time.

She retired on July 1, 1991, as Dean of Student Life at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The same year, the university recognized McPhaul with its Honorary Alumni Award. She is one of only four people to ever receive the award, which acknowledges extraordinary loyalty and service. McPhaul arrived at UL Lafayette in 1957 as Associate Dean of Women. She became Dean of Women, then Coordinator and Administrator of the Department of Student Personnel before, in 1980, accepting the post she held until retirement.

McPhaul coordinated UL Lafayette’s freshman orientation, led student organizations and both guided or was a member of many honor societies, including the Alpha Lambda Delta women’s honor society, Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and Pi Delta Phi French honor society. She served as advisor to the Panhellenic Council, and was a member of the American Association for University Women. McPhaul was a member of First Baptist Church of Lafayette, where she served as associate director of the church’s Sunday school department. The Rose Garden, a courtyard nestled in residence halls of UL Lafayette between E. University Ave and Boucher St., is dedicated to her.

RIP to a great leader and a great lady.

Funeral services will be at First Baptist Church Lafayette. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to either First Baptist Christian School, P. O. Box 3888, Lafayette, LA 70502 or University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation, P. O. Box 44290, Lafayette, LA 70504.