Ladue News spotlights Chancellor Emeritus Blanche M. Touhill

Blanche Touhill

Ladue News recently featured Chancellor Emeritus Blanche M. Touhill and the legacy she’s left at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Chancellor Emeritus Blanche M. Touhill was featured in a recent story in Ladue News that highlights the indelible mark she’s made on the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

It’s one embodied most clearly in the performing arts center on North Campus that bears her name and that she helped raise $13 million to build. But as columnist Paul Brown details, that’s only part of Touhill’s legacy.

She first came to UMSL as a history professor in 1965, eventually working her way into administration and then climbing the ranks to chancellor, where she helped lead a significant expansion of degree programs, including the UMSL/Washington University Joint Engineering Program and a PhD in nursing.

“I never thought a woman could be an administrator in a public institution,” Touhill told Brown. “When I was in high school, the furthest you could rise was a counselor – all the administrators were men. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

Touhill retired as chancellor in 2002 but has remained active around campus, and Brown reports that she is currently heading a video project to tell the stories of change-making St. Louis women.

“I always wanted to make a collection of the stories of women’s lives during these changing times,” she told Ladue News. “It’s important for me to leave the record so that somebody else can come along 50 years from now and understand who made the times really change.”

To read the full story in Ladue News, click here.


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