Staff Leadership

Mary Saunders, Executive Director

Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders

Retired Maj. Gen. Mary Saunders was the first female general officer selected as the director of transportation in the U.S. Air Force. In this capacity, she provided guidance for 32,000 active duty and civilian personnel and was responsible for a fleet of 115,000 vehicles.

Saunders is a native Texan, born in Nacogdoches and educated in Houston. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Texas Woman’s University and her Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling from Rider University in New Jersey. She also attended the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

Saunders was named Texas Woman’s University Distinguished Alumnae in 1998 and a TWU Woman of Distinction in 2000. She was one of five women inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Judy Elias, Associate Director

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Judy Elias has 25 years experience in university management positions, student life, and programming and implementation. In 1988, she established the office of Conference Services at TWU. She later served as the director of the Student Union with responsibility for maintenance and operation of the building, programming for the Student Center Activities Team, and supervision of custodial staff and building attendants.

Elias subsequently assumed the position as program director for the McNair Scholars Program, which encourages and assists minority students to seek graduate education leading to a PhD in their chosen field of study. A graduate of TWU, she earned her undergraduate degree in government and a master’s degree in English. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Outstanding Young Women of America and the National Alumni Association. Elias is the TWU liaison to the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women and is responsible for coordinating the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.