Dr. Mary T. Dooley
Professor Emerita Mary Dooley grew up in Michigan, and taught at Michigan State for a
year before joining the University of Maryland’s program for teaching military personnel
in Europe. She then taught for several years at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana
before returning to Michigan State to earn her doctorate. Her dissertation documented the
geographic challenge of converting government-purchased wilderness into farmland during
the early 1800s. The knowledge she gained from her research helped her in later years as
she wrote and published her own family’s history.
In 1966, Dr. Mary Dooley joined the faculty at Mankato State College and began
teaching on the lower campus. She served under several different presidents and for one
year served as assistant vice president for Academic Affairs. Dooley served as Program
Director for a large-scale map series depicting Blue Earth County’s history in the latter
1800s, using surveyor’s records, government land grants, and characteristics of the settlers
reported in the 1880 census. At retirement, she was Acting Dean of the College of Social
and Behavioral Sciences. Since retiring from the geography department in 1990, she has
continued as a consistent and generous supporter of the geography department.