Maline (Mary Ailine) Gilbert McCalla Scholarship

Jan 28, 2008 | Scholarships

The Maline (Mary Ailine) Gilbert McCalla Scholarship was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on January 28, 2008, to benefit The University of Texas College of Fine Arts. The endowment honors Mrs. Maline G. McCalla. Gift funds were provided by Mr. Dudley D. McCalla.

Maline Gilbert McCalla was born in Austin, where her association with The University of Texas at Austin began early. She attended UT’s Lab School (then the University Nursery School) as a 3-year-old and as a child roamed freely around the Forty Acres. She attended children’s theater productions in Hogg Auditorium, participated in an aqua carnival in the Gregory Gym pool, took dance lessons on the Drag, and attended art classes on campus offered to public school students.

In high school she and her classmates attended lectures by UT art professors such as Kelly Fearing several times a year. She and her friends often sat in the knothole section of UT football games, the low-cost ground-level section in the end zone reserved for school-age students. Maline’s mother, father, and aunts were all UT alumni, and Maline liked to drop by the UT Health Center where her father, Dr. Joe Thorne Gilbert, served as the surgeon on call. Her grandfather Dr. Joe Gilbert was the chief doctor at the Health Center and served as the football team’s physician.

Maline entered the College of Liberal Arts as a sophomore English major in the fall of 1957. Here she got involved in activities ranging from chairing the Varsity Carnival to dancing in the chorus of the Round Up Revue to leading the Cultural Entertainment Committee as its chair.

The Cultural Entertainment Committee selected the talent who performed at UT. Because the budget was funded by the Blanket Tax, a registration fee that paid for attending athletic and cultural events on campus, the committee could bring ballet companies, concert series, and international acts such as soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Broadway star Mary Martin, and pianist Van Cliburn to the UT campus. Maline received a scholarship to attend a summer program at the National University of Mexico, where she lived with a Mexican family. Because of her experience in Mexico she participated in the first University of Texas/University of Chile student leaders exchange program.

Maline and Dudley McCalla

Maline graduated cum laude and Pi Beta Phi in 1960 and left for France to study at the Sorbonne. Upon returning from France she entered graduate school and earned her master’s in Romance languages (French) in 1963. Maline married Dudley McCalla in 1962. They are parents of three sons: Dudley, Joe, and Andrew. While raising her sons she volunteered with the Austin Library Commission and co-chaired the Austin Bicentennial Commission, and the Austin Sesquicentennial Commission. She is a founding member of the board of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, volunteered at the Natural Science Center working with animals, and supported various local and national environmental causes.

As a patron of the arts she enjoyed many years of dance at Austin Ballet Theatre, and was a board member of Zachary Scott Theater Center, the Paramount Theater, the Austin Ballet Theater, the Children’s Theatre for the Junior League of Austin, and KMFA FM 89.5, among others. For several years she taught art classes out of her garage and sold artwork at art fairs and craft festivals.

Her large ceramic murals are held in many private collections such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and St. Joseph’s Church in San Angelo. She was a cooperative owner of Kerbey Lane Galleries, which provided exhibition space for local artists. As a UT alumna, Maline has participated as chair and member of the College of Fine Arts Advisory Council, as a Student Union Advisory member, co-chair of 25- and 50-year class reunions, member of the Executive Council for UT’s Centennial Commission, and member of UT’s Committee of 125.

She and her husband are members of the Chancellor’s Council and Longhorn Foundation. In 2003 she received her MFA in sculpture from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In 2007 she published a translation of “Cossio del Pomar en San Miguel de Allende”, memoirs of the Peruvian artist, art critic, and political activist responsible for San Miguel’s transformation into an arts center and tourist destination. Currently she is at work republishing the original Spanish version of that book, which is out of print.

Maline acknowledges that her family made it possible for her to pursue interests and opportunities in the arts. Dudley is an especially dedicated husband who wanted to establish an endowment in Maline’s name in the College of Fine Arts. Maline hopes that the recipients of the Maline (Mary Ailine) Gilbert McCalla Scholarship are able to pursue their dreams and give back to the university that has had such a positive impact on her life and the life of her family.

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