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Mary Elizabeth Waits Scott Williams Papers

Identifier: MS 147

Scope and Contents

Photographs, clippings, ephemera, scrapbooks, writings, legal documents, and other material document the life of Mary Elizabeth Waits Scott Williams, daughter of TCU president E. M. Waits. The collection is divided into four series. The first series includes Mary Beth’s biography, clippings, ephemera, photographs, scrapbook, and writings, including her school reports and papers, as well as speeches and writings. The second series includes material related to the death of her first husband, Gayle Scott, to whom she was married from 1927 until his death in 1948. The series contains his funeral and memorial services and the estate of his mother of which Mary Beth was executor. The third series contains material related to E. M. Waits, President of TCU from 1916 to 1941, and includes clippings, his funeral book, Golden Deeds Awards, presentation of his portrait, photographs, poems, President’s reports and ancestry of the Waits family. The final series contains material on Cecil B. Williams, 1961-1968. Mary Beth was married to Mr. Williams from 1961 until his death in 1966. This series mostly includes items after his death, such as his estate, funeral, a ledger of his holdings, photographs and telegrams of sympathy to Mary Beth.


  • Creation: 1916-1978, undated


Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research. Copyright has not been transferred to TCU.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Elizabeth Waits Scott Williams was the daughter of Dr. Edward McShane Waits, president of TCU from 1916-1941. During that time she served as Dr. Waits’ hostess at University functions. She received her B.A. in English from TCU in 1921 and her M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1927. Later, she married Dr. Gayle Scott, geology and biology professor, for whom the Winton-Scott Hall of Science was named.

Following Dr. Scott’s death in 1948, she accepted Dr. Sadler’s offer to develop a faculty social program and teach English at TCU. When she married Dr. Cecil Williams in 1961, she gave up her work in the English Department but continued as faculty social director until her retirement in August, 1963.

She was a member of the Woman’s Wednesday Club, a prominent Fort Worth study club and the Fort Worth Woman’s Club. She was active in the University Christian Church, Lecture Foundation, the Round Table, TCU Women Exes, and Kappa Delta. She was presented a special award by the TCU Alumni Association in 1972 for her long, distinguished service to her alma mater. She was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by TCU in May, 1974.

Considered TCU’s “first lady” from her father’s 1916 inauguration until his retirement in 1941, Mary presented the library with a collection of more than 1,500 volumes of English materials from Dr. Williams’ personal library in 1967. A poetry contest in TCU’s annual creative writing competition in named in her honor, and the TCU Women Exes of Fort Worth established the Gayle and Mary Beth Scott Scholarship to provide financial assistance to a worthy Fort Worth student. She died June 15, 1978.


5.00 Linear feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: I. Personal Papers, 1936-1978; II. Gayle Scott, 1948-1967; III. E.M. Waits, 1916-1968; and IV. Cecil B. Williams, 1961-1968.

Physical Location

Vault BE 5

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the estate of Mary Elizabeth Waits Scott Williams on July 10, 1978.

Guide to the Mary Elizabeth Waits Scott Williams Papers
Lisa Pena
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library Repository

TCU Box 298400
2800 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129-0001
Fort Worth Texas 76129
(817) 257-4566
(817) 257-7282 (Fax)