It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you that a transition plan for the position of vice president and chief of staff to the president has been set in motion, as Mary DeLay has announced her retirement planned for the end of May.
All who have worked with Mary know that she has been tirelessly devoted to this institution for 33 years. She was recruited in 1990 to serve as our university’s first director of development and alumni relations by W. Frank Elston, vice president for university relations. Five years later, Mary was tapped by President John Howe, the university’s second president, to serve as his chief of staff. At the end of Dr. Howe’s term in 2000, President Francisco Cigarroa enthusiastically retained Mary’s appointment as his chief of staff and later added to her responsibilities by appointing her to serve as vice president for communications.
In 2009, following Dr. Cigarroa’s departure to become chancellor of The University of Texas System, I was delighted to partner with Mary in my new role as president. I immediately began to benefit from her wealth of experience and knowledge of the institution’s brand, faculty, staff and history as an enterprise leader within the San Antonio community and South Texas. The excellence with which Mary has always performed has been reflected in many achievements of our health science center and, quite fittingly, in her being recognized, in 2011, as an executive leader of San Antonio by the San Antonio Business Journal and in 2014 as the Communications Professional of the Year by the San Antonio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Mary and I have worked closely together for 14 years. She has been a deeply valued colleague to me throughout my tenures of dean and president. The hallmarks of her service include not only the relationships she has thoughtfully fostered in myriad sectors across the community, but also the collaboration and collegiality that she has worked to extend throughout our university family. I will long remain grateful for Mary’s constant grace when juggling critical priorities, her relentless dedication to our advancement, as well as her leadership, vision and support provided to me and our institution. Mary has earned the highest degree of respect from all who have been privileged to know her — her team, her peers, members of the internal and external community and our colleagues at UT System.
To support the transition to a new chief of staff in the president’s office, a search will be launched this month for a vice president and chief of staff to succeed Mary. Andrea Marks, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer, will serve as chair for this search advisory committee.
We will be sure to plan a memorable retirement reception for Mary soon. In the meantime, please join me in thanking and congratulating Mary for her more than three decades of loyal and dedicated contributions to this institution.
With appreciation and respect,
William L. Henrich, MD, MACP
President and Professor of Medicine