In Memoriam: First undergraduate executive dean Regina Kyle

Regina Mary Jane Kyle, who died on April 2, was a pioneer of undergraduate studies at UTD and the first female dean of the university

Photo Courtesy of UTD

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Regina Mary Jane Kyle, the first undergraduate executive dean and first female dean in UTD history, passed away April 2 at the age of 88 in her home in Falmouth, Massachusetts. 

In 1973, Kyle became the Executive Dean for Undergraduate Studies, laying the foundation of UTD’s modern undergraduate program during her 10-year tenure. UTD was a graduate-only school until 1975, when Kyle brought in the first undergraduate juniors and seniors for a tuition of $195 and was in charge when the first bachelor’s degree was awarded at UTD in 1976. During this time, she also served as a trustee of KERA News and the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.  

Kyle received two bachelor’s degrees in 1963 from Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, one in arts and the other in English, while spending most of her time as an active member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, an international Catholic congregation of women dedicated to uplifting communities and tackling social crises. Within the next year, Kyle began studying at Harvard University and received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1970, but not before completing a two-year study abroad program at the University of Birmingham in England for Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies. Following her graduation, Kyle was invited as an elected faculty board member at Harvard until she left for employment as Executive Dean for Undergraduate Studies at UTD, which was only 12 years old at the time.  

After her tenure at UTD, Kyle became CEO of the Kyle Group LTD in 1983 at Westport, Massachusetts, where, for 32 years, she oversaw the design and development of programs that supported institutions and communities by improving consulting economic development and art education. Most notably, in 2009, Kyle received a Doctorate in Public Service honoris causa for lifetime services to education from the Spalding University, a private Catholic university in Louisville, Kentucky. 

In 2016, Kyle moved to Falmouth, Massachusetts, founding and serving as CEO of The Creative Apothecary, which served as a consulting service that provided a variety of community resources like the Resources Guides on the Arts and Wellness, School of Creative Aging and the Kyle Studio.  

Kyle’s funeral was held at the Holy Family Church in Rockland, Massachusetts, on April 12.  


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