Margaret Mahler—Peg to her family and friends—is best remembered as a warm and caring person who really did put others ahead of herself. She set high standards, traveled far, and accomplished a great deal in her life, and that’s what made her unexpected death in 1992 so tragic.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1923, Margaret grew up in a large family, then married and had five children of her own. While raising a family with her husband, Al, Margaret graduated from Duquesne University in 1962 with a B.Ed. in English Literature and taught in the Pittsburgh public schools for ten years. She received her M.Ed. in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1974, both from the University of Pittsburgh, then began teaching at IUP in 1976.
In the classroom, Margaret was considered a master teacher by those who had the privilege of learning from and with her. Her respect for other people and her love of teaching were basic in her nature and constant in her interactions with others. She exemplified the model teacher and continuously strived to better herself, the community, and others.
Her academic and interpersonal skills were many and noteworthy, as were her accomplishments outside the classroom. Margaret established the IUP Center for Community Education in 1976. As director, she ensured that the center provided training and technical assistance to hundreds of educators throughout Pennsylvania. Margaret also served on several state boards and committees and was active in numerous professional organizations. She was a volunteer for the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) and served two terms as president of the Pennsylvania Community Education Association.
On a more global scale, Margaret was a key contributor at international community education conferences in Australia, Ireland, and Kenya. She also took a sabbatical to work at the International Community Education Center in Coventry, England, and at a community college in Djakarta, Indonesia.
When Margaret wasn’t championing a cause, she was often making presentations, which totaled more than twenty at the local, state, and national levels. She also authored chapters for the 1981 and 1987 Pennsylvania Handbook of Adult Education.
So that we are reminded of her diligence, professionalism, and her personalized approach to teaching, Indiana University of Pennsylvania has established the Margaret Mahler Fund to commemorate her approach to life and academic accomplishments. It provides funds to support student activities and recognition of student achievement in the Adult and Community Education program at IUP—something Margaret would have loved very much.
Contributions to the Margaret Mahler Fund can be made by returning the attached downloadable form with a check or money order (please mark the memo portion of your check: Fund #4657, Mahler Fund). Charge cards are also accepted with completed verification information. Please mail your tax-deductible contributions to this address:
Foundation for IUP
Sutton Hall, Room 103
1011 South Drive
Indiana, PA 15705-1046
The following graduates have been recipients of the Margaret Mahler Memorial Award:
Margaret Mahler Memorial Award Outstanding Students in Adult and Community Education
Kathleen Cowles, 1996
Patricia Kirkpatrick, 1997
Roy H. McCullagh, 1998
Andra Cross, 1999
Susan Stumpp, 2000
Vera Auretto, 2001
Lynnan Mocek, 2002
Mary Beth Hassan, 2004
Andrew Simpson, 2005
Jennifer Primack, 2006
Margaret Mahler Memorial Award Outstanding Research in Adult and Community Education
Michelle Ferguson, 1996
Christine Cresson, 1996
Susanne M. Weiland, 1998
Diana L. Flynn, 1998
Linda R. Madden-Brenholts, 1999
Renee Knox, 1999
Joe Norden, Jr., 2001
Laura Stewart-Webboy, 2004