SMU remembers Cary Maguire, Sr., community leader

Cary Maguire, Sr., community leader
Cary M. Maguire, Sr., trustee and former SMU Board of Trustees member.

SMU mourns the loss of Cary M. Maguire, Sr., trustee emeritus and former SMU Board of Trustees member, who passed away on Tuesday, August 10, at the age of 93. Maguire, a long-standing leader in the community, was among some of SMU’s most active and generous donors, as well as a dedicated and innovative leader in the energy industry.

He will be honored with a memorial service from 2-3 p.m. Monday, August 16, at St. Michael and All Angels Church, 8011 Douglas Ave., Dallas, TX 75225.

“Cary was a vibrant, pioneering member of the Mustang community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His commitment to the growth of the University’s programs, the development of its students and the brightness of its potential laid the groundwork for its future success. Our University was made a better and more enriching learning and research environment because of Cary, and we feel his loss profoundly.”

Maguire became a part of the Mustang community through his late wife Ann Thompson Maguire ’52, a Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences alumna. His service to the University included 24 years on the SMU Board of Trustees, as well as his being a member of the Executive Committee for the Campaign for SMU and co-chair of the Cox School Campaign Committee. Over the years, he chaired several University boards and committees, including the Cox School of Business Executive Board, the Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board, the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility Advisory Board and the Investment and Audit Committees. He sat on the President’s Leadership Council and held directorships in the Foundation for Business Administration and the John Goodwin Tower Center in Dedman College.

“The Maguire Ethics Center would not exist without the foresight and leadership of Cary Maguire,” said Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. “His dedication to ethics education and community outreach is felt in everything we do here at the Center. His loss is immeasurable, but his vision will be continued through the lives we change and the students we educate.”

Maguire’s gifts to the University were as numerous as his active roles in its development. Maguire was a key donor to and supporter of the Cox School of Business, establishing the school’s Maguire Energy Institute in 1974, which has been at the forefront of energy education and research for nearly 50 years. In 1995, he gifted $2 million to establish the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, which offers University-wide ethics-related education and activities to students and faculty. Later, Maguire endowed the Center’s directorship, naming it for the Center’s founding Director William F. May. Other contributions to the University include the Maguire Chair in Oil and Gas Management and the Cox School’s Maguire Building, which houses undergraduate programs.

In 1995, Maguire and his late wife, Ann, were named recipients of the Mustang Award for extraordinary philanthropy to the university. He was again recognized for his contributions in 2019 as the recipient of the Pioneer Award from the Maguire Energy Institute. Maguire then was honored by the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility in 2021 with its J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.

“Cary was a devoted friend to the University on every level, and his commitment to ethics and integrity ran deep,” said longtime friend Bobby B. Lyle, SMU Trustee and vice chairman of the Maguire Ethics Center and Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Boards. “We are fortunate that he shared his passion, leadership and his gifts with SMU, where our students will carry his legacy forward.”

Maguire served as chair and president of Maguire Oil Company and Maguire Energy Company and chair of Components Corporation of America and Staco Inc., California. His passion for the energy industry and ethical business practices led him to serve on various national committees and councils and to fund various causes, including the Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History in the Library of Congress. A national leader and well-respected businessman, Maguire will long be remembered on the Hilltop for his generosity, his dedication and his outstanding service.