The Ebby Halliday Foundation has donated real estate legend and philanthropist Ebby Halliday Acers’ papers, including letters, journals, speeches and scrapbooks, to SMU’s DeGolyer Library. The foundation also made an undisclosed donation to the DeGolyer Library. The founder of the Ebby Halliday Companies passed away in 2015 at age 104.
The DeGolyer Library is the principal repository at SMU for special collections in the humanities, the history of business and the history of science and technology. Its rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps and other materials are available to all SMU students, faculty, visiting scholars and other researchers.
Ebby Halliday’s papers now reside in the Archives of Women of the Southwest, one of the special collections of DeGolyer Library. This collection, established in 1993, documents the historical experience of women in the Southwest, highlighting those who have influenced women’s roles in society and shaped the culture, arts, business, social issues, law and politics.
“We felt this donation was important in solidifying the Ebby Halliday Foundation and Ebby’s legacy to ensure future generations access to her life’s written work,” says Ebby Halliday Foundation Board Member Ashley Cook.
“Ebby Halliday was truly a pioneer in the real estate industry, expanding opportunities for others not only here in the Dallas area but around the country, by the force of her example and influence,” says Russell L. Martin III, director of SMU’s DeGolyer Library. "Her energy and enthusiasm knew no bounds. We are grateful to the Foundation for entrusting her remarkable archive to us, where it will be preserved and made accessible to researchers.”
Having opened the doors to successful careers for thousands of people, in particular women at a time when professional opportunities were limited, Ebby was widely admired for her passionate leadership and tireless altruism.
Among the many tributes to Ebby’s philanthropic legacy in North Texas are Juliette Fowler Communities’ The Ebby House, an innovative transitional community for young women who have experienced foster care or have been abandoned, displaced or abused; the WiNG’s Center at Ebby’s Place, which helps lift economically challenged working women out of poverty; and the Ebby Halliday Library at Happy Hill Farm in Granbury, a 500-acre farm that is home to North Central Texas Academy, an independent college-preparatory day, boarding and international school which seeks out underserved students. Halliday was also honored with the building and naming of the Ebby Halliday Elementary School in Southeast Dallas.
Throughout her life, Ebby’s dedication to the real estate profession and her fellow man remained constant. Ebby was honored with The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans award, which honors the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles.
For Ebby, a successful life was about much more than extraordinary sales figures. Her other great passion was service to the community she proudly called home.