Mary Schuhsler Spangler passed away peacefully on June 14, 2014. She was born in New York City, the daughter of the late Alfred A. Schuhsler and Mary Lentz Schuhsler. She is preceded in death by her husband Clifford Eugene Spangler and is survived by her son Clifford Eugene Spangler and wife Elizabeth of Charlotte, NC; granddaughter, Morgan Spangler; sister, Frances Hadden and husband, Earl of Durham, NC; nieces, Amanda Garland and husband, Tyler, and Elizabeth Losey and husband, Jeffrey, grandnephew, Justin.
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Mary received a BA in English from Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA and holds a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She started her career in higher education at Los Angeles Valley College in California, moving into administration after 25 years of teaching there. Dr. Spangler has devoted her career to community colleges and their students and has successfully led three of the largest, most diverse and complex urban institutions in the country. She served first as president of Los Angeles City College, the flagship institution of the Los Angeles Community College District, and then as chancellor of Oakland Community College, the largest community college in Michigan. In 2007 she was named as Chancellor of Houston Community College System in Houston, TX.
Dr. Spangler has served as a classroom educator, an administrator, an executive as well as a national advocate for higher education over her career, earning honors and accolades every step of the way. In 2005 she was nominated to the Libris Society at her alma mater Chestnut Hill College in recognition of her long commitment to the achievement of excellence in her profession. In 2008 she was among 21 college and university leaders invited to contribute an essay to Letters to the Next President: Strengthening America's Foundation in Higher Education. One of the most recent was being named one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Houston" by Houston Woman Magazine. Her passion was to further the mission of community colleges as an essential part of providing affordable, accessible higher education.
She co-authored 4 books on writing and enjoyed travel, having been to Europe, Vietnam and the Middle East. An accomplished photographer she documented her trips abroad with beautiful photos. Mary retired in 2013 as the Chancellor and CEO of the Houston Community College System, a multi-campus set of colleges and one of the largest community colleges in the nation with over 70,000 students. Her tenure was marked with increased enrollment, expanded academic programs, record philanthropy and the passage of a $425 million dollar bond program for future facilities in 2012.
The family is being assisted by National Cremation Service in Charlotte. NC. Online condolences may be made at //www.legacy.com.
Graveside services will be in California at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in honor of Dr. Spangler to First Graduate at http://firstgraduate.org/
Published in Houston Chronicle on June 27, 2014