Dear Members of the Hockaday Community,
A dearly beloved member of our community, Life Trustee Margaret McDermott, whose impact on our School and the entire Dallas community was unparalleled, died today, Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the age of 106. Mrs. McDermott was appointed to the Hockaday Board of Trustees in 1965 and appointed Life Trustee in 1976. Mrs. McDermott was named an Honorary Alum in 2008. Her steadfast devotion and unequivocal support of Hockaday for more than six decades has helped make Hockaday the School it is today.
In 1998, Mrs. McDermott and her daughter Mary McDermott Cook ’71 established the Eugene McDermott Head of School Chair. Four Heads of Hockaday have been proud to hold this title. In 2016, The Eugene McDermott Foundation named the performance stage in The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Theater in honor of legendary teacher Ed Long. Mrs. McDermott’s involvement in and generosity to the School has supported many areas of School life including our science program and our commitment to financial aid for students.
The focus of Mrs. McDermott’s philanthropy was education, the arts, and science. She was a fervent believer in elevating public and private education and bringing art and beauty to everyone. She donated over 3,100 works “spanning different cultures, disciplines, and eras” to the Dallas Museum of Art. She served as a museum trustee for 57 years. Her involvement at The University of Texas at Dallas has been transformative. She established the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program at UTD in 2000.
Mrs. McDermott believed strongly in the power of effective leadership. As a result, through The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Mrs. McDermott and Mary McDermott Cook ’71 endowed Heads positions across the City of Dallas. Included in this list of fine institutions that Mrs. McDermott cherished are The Hockaday School, St. Mark’s School of Texas, United Way of Dallas, and Dallas Museum of Art. The Heads’ titles of all of these institutions carry the name of her beloved late husband Eugene McDermott.
Mrs. McDermott has one daughter, Mary McDermott Cook ’71, and her granddaughter is Grace Ellen Cook ’06. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, May 8 at 11:00 am at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
Mrs. McDermott provided philanthropic leadership throughout her life. Her dedication to and involvement in Hockaday and throughout Dallas has been awe-inspiring. Her kindness, enthusiasm, intellect, and her amazing zest for life will be long remembered by everyone at our School.
Both Andy and I will always remember our first trip to Dallas when she welcomed us with open arms and shared her story about what Hockaday meant to her. Her love for our School was contagious. She will be greatly missed by the entire Hockaday community.
Dr. Karen Warren ColemanEugene McDermott Head of School