Remembering Cary Maguire

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Cary M. Maguire Spirit of Ethics Award Announced (Courtesy of

Dallas businessman and philanthropist, Cary M. Maguire passed away at age 93 on August 10, 2021. Mr. Maguire was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on May 30, 1928. He attended the Landon School and graduated from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics in 1950. After college, he joined his father in the oil business and moved to Wichita Falls, Texas in 1951 to open a Texas office. Cary married Ann Thompson Maguire on February 27, 1960.

It is difficult not to associate Mr. Maguire with Southern Methodist University. Cary was a major benefactor of the University and served on SMU’s Board of Trustees. A building at the Cox School of Business bears his name. In 1974, Cary founded the Maguire Oil and Gas Institute and established the Maguire Chair in Oil and Gas Management in the Cox School. His commitment to ethics led him to establish the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. The Center offers University-wide ethics-related education and activities to students and faculty. He founded the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics at the Library of Congress and funded the Maguire Fellow in Applied Ethics at The American College.

I met Mr. Maguire in 1990 when I was appointed Director of the Maguire Oil and Gas Institute. Cary was a hands-on benefactor and served as Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Advisors. During my time as Director, under Cary’s direction and support, the Institute launched a web page containing numerous oil and gas industry statistics and news. I established an oil and library in the Cox School to provide access to students and faculty. I also published an Institute newsletter with industry stories and an editorial column.  The Institute began a series of conferences on various issues facing the energy industry. We also established the Oil and Gas Education Initiative to explain various parts of the oil and gas industry to academics, government employees, and journalists. It may seem to be bragging, but these accomplishments are more a tribute to Mr. Maguire’s guidance and support. When I suggested to Mr. Maguire that we should rename the Institute The Maguire Energy Institute, Cary liked the more inclusive name.

Some of my colleagues at SMU felt Cary was too demanding. I never saw this side. If you said something would be done, Cary expected you to get it done and get it done right. Cary had a dry sense of humor which I enjoyed over lunches at the Dallas Petroleum Club. However, more than any other trait, Cary was an ethical man who believed that ethics is the foundation of personal integrity.

It’s been over twenty-five years since I talked to Cary, but his lessons of hard work, commitment, honesty, and ethics have been the essence of my creed. Thank you, Mr. Maguire.

About Allen Mesch

Allen is an author, educator, and historian. He has written six books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", Preparing for Disunion, and Ebenezer Allen - Statesman, Entrepreneur, and Spy. He taught classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and given presentations at Civil War Roundtables.
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1 Response to Remembering Cary Maguire

  1. Carolyn Geary says:

    Very nice tribute to Cary Maguire. Thanks for sharing.


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