Rich and Mary Templeton to Lead 94th Annual United Way Campaign

Mary Templeton knows a thing or two about giving. After all, her philanthropic mentors just so happened to be Ruth Altshuler and Margaret McDermott.

Templeton shared meaningful remarks about the legacies of the two Dallas legends Sept. 11 at a luncheon to kick off the 94th annual United Way of Metropolitan Dallas campaign, which she and her husband, Rich, are co-chairing.

“This past year has been bittersweet for me because we lost two of United Way’s longest and most generous patrons, Ruth Altshuler and Margaret McDermott,” Mary Templeton remarked at the event. “They passed less than six months apart. It was a blow to philanthropy in Dallas and to me personally because they were both dear, dear friends who took me under their giant philanthropic wings and taught me what it means to give wisely.”

Building on the success of an unprecedented $61 million fundraising year, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas launched its annual fundraising campaign with its first couple to chair the event.

Mary and Rich Templeton, Texas Instruments chairman, president, and CEO, are the first couple ever to chair the event and are succeeding Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman in the role.

The kick off luncheon was held in the bright Sky Lobby at Chase Tower where guest dined on a bed of angel hair pasta tossed in lemon butter and served with chicken piccata and asparagus and baby carrots.

Mary continued her remarks about her dear friends during the luncheon, highlighting that they taught her to get out and see for herself what the community needs.

She also laughed about how she’d grill Margaret McDermott for years about her experiences in Europe and Asia during World Way II – always suspecting her of being a spy; and how Ruth Altshuler would suggest leaving an $80 tip on a $50 meal at Neiman’s.

“Ruth never lost sight of the fact that our world needs both small and large kindnesses,” she said. “Sometimes it’s the cold can of Coca-Cola for the mailman, or finding a car for a family down on their luck, or starting a peanut butter drive that turns into a food pantry, or a kind word to a stranger, or yes, even a generous tip.

“Ruth taught me that it isn’t how much you give that defines the type of philanthropist you are, it’s the heart with which you do it. And Margaret taught me the importance of knowing and nurturing and setting the right examples for next generations of philanthropists.”

United Way’s annual campaign will engage long-standing corporate, civic and philanthropic relationships while establishing new ones through innovative digital fundraising strategies.

Building on the momentum of last year’s effort, the organization hopes to again lead North Texas to the title of ‘Most Generous City in America’ on #Giving Tuesday. Championing #GiveBigDFW on November 27, 2018, the Templeton family plans to lead volunteer engagement efforts across the region on the global day of giving that falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, kicking off the holiday season with a focus on sharing and caring.

“Rich is a powerful influence and example in our business community, while Mary is the driving force behind the expansion of United Way leadership to family leadership, a strategy we had hoped and planned for years ago,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president, and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “I deeply admire them both for their vision and commitment and am profoundly grateful for their leadership. They have big dreams for our community, and they believe passionately that we have the potential to make those dreams a reality for all the people of North Texas.”

To learn more about United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and how to give, visit

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at Bianca.Montes@Dmagazine or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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