Wed, Sep 17 2014
LeTourneau University mourns the loss of Margaret Estes Davis, 96, who died this morning in a Dallas area hospital where she had been treated for pneumonia.
Estes was a longtime supporter of LeTourneau University, having served on the board of trustees of the school in the mid-1970s when it was still LeTourneau College. She and her husband, Carl Estes, were leading citizens in the city of Longview, where they owned the Longview News-Journal newspaper for many years. After his death in May 1967, Margaret Estes ran the newspaper as publisher.
She was a faithful and longtime supporter of LeTourneau University, providing support for building projects throughout the years including one of the initial gifts to launch the campaign to build the university’s S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center that opened in 2007.
“Margaret Estes Davis and her husband the late Carl Estes were there at the very birth of our university, when R.G. and Evelyn LeTourneau flew over Longview in 1946 and imagined a great technical school in the place of Harmon General Hospital,” said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. “Her death marks the end of that inaugural era for our university. She was a leader and an encourager and remained a loyal supporter of LeTourneau University for her entire life. When we dedicated Davis Hall in her honor, we referred to Margaret as a ‘pioneer among women in leadership.’ Even as we celebrate her accomplishments today, I know we will miss her greatly.”
Paul Glaske has served on the Board of Trustees of LeTourneau University for many years.
“From the very beginning, she was the epitome of a professional, proper business lady,” Glaske said. “She was special. She was a special friend to my wife and me, personally, and to the university, and was a special friend to many others in the Longview community, along with the many organizations she supported. LETU considers it a privilege to have her name on two of our buildings. Her death is a big loss.”
Dr. Alvin O. “Bud” Austin remembers that he first met Margaret Estes Davis when he came to Longview as the new president of what was then LeTourneau College in 1986. Her name was already a permanent part of the campus, with the Margaret Estes Learning Resource Center named after her.
“She was a gracious woman and hosted many people, including my wife, Sammie, and I, in her home,” Austin said. “Margaret grew up in New York City as a baseball fan and when she moved to Texas, she became a Texas Rangers fan. She had season tickets to the Rangers, and hosted us at many games
“Margaret was always interested in LeTourneau University,” Austin said. “I had the privilege of recognizing her and her husband, Gus Davis, for their generosity and longtime support for LeTourneau University when we dedicated the Margaret Estes Davis Residence Hall in her honor in 2005.
“She was deeply interested in learning and had served on the LeTourneau board early in its tenure, as well as serving on the board of Texas Woman’s University,” Austin said. “She was recognized throughout the state of Texas for her interest in education.”
Austin said the Davis’ donated a 500-acre ranch on South Estes Parkway to LeTourneau University. The university was able to sell the property and use resources from it to build the Glaske Engineering Center.
“Even though her name is not on that, she was instrumental in helping make it a reality,” Austin said.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
About LeTourneau University:
LeTourneau University is a Christ-centered, interdenominational institute of higher learning offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in aviation, arts & sciences, business, education and engineering. The university enrolls more than 2,700 students representing nearly all 50 states, more than 30 foreign countries, and 53 different denominational groups. Over 1,300 students study at its main campus in Longview, Texas, a progressive hub city nestled among beautiful pine-forested hills and lakes in East Texas, approximately 120 miles east of Dallas, Texas, and 60 miles west of Shreveport, La. Students are also enrolled in a robust suite of online programs, as well as the university’s innovative hybrid programs in Dallas and Houston. Committed to its core mission, LeTourneau University is a comprehensive institution of Christian higher education where educators engage learners to nurture Christian virtue, to develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, to integrate faith and work, and to serve the local and global community. The university is also led by its vision: Claiming every workplace in every nation as their mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life's work as a holy calling with eternal impact.
For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.