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Alumna Eddye Gallagher inducted into TIPA Hall of Fame

04.06.2023 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
Eddye Gallagher smiles as she gives her speech during her TIPA hall of fame induction

Eddye Gallagher ’69 sat on a bus, library books stacked on her lap, with her sister Sandra on their way home from the downtown Fort Worth public library. Eddye was eager to get home, not too far from Texas Wesleyan University’s campus, and lay on the living room floor cracking open those books. 

The rides every other week to and from the library with her sister were a cherished memory for Gallagher. It was what led her to read about famous people like Nellie Bly — the pen name for the American journalist Elizabeth Cochran Seaman known for her record-breaking around-the-world trip in 72 days and launching new trends in investigative journalism.  

“I’d get my big stack of books to bring home. Then she’d [Sandra] get so mad because before the first week was over, I'd be finished and wanting to go back,” Gallagher laughed.  

Discovering Nellie Bly during those library trips with Sandra and reading the papers that her parents subscribed led Gallagher to think about becoming a writer. And while Gallagher hadn’t thought about going to college, she was encouraged to attend by her high school English and journalism teacher Dorothy Estes.  

“Dorothy Estes took me aside and she said, ‘You cannot go through your life being smarter than your boss. You're going to college,’” Gallagher said. Estes got an application to Texas Wesleyan for Gallagher to fill out, which worked well for Gallagher since the campus was within walking distance.  

Gallagher was offered several jobs in public relations through the connections she made with both Estes and staff at Texas Wesleyan University. After graduating, she decided to get her master’s in journalism from the University of North Texas. During her graduate studies, she was offered a job as a professor and an adviser for the student newspaper for Tarrant County College (TCC). Three years later, she had a full-time contract with TCC.  

Gallagher said that Estes not only introduced her to several people that would help her throughout her career, but also helped her negotiate her contract with TCC. Estes also had Gallagher meet with the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA), the oldest state collegiate association in the nation.  

“Dorothy was a loving woman,” Gallagher said. “She helped me make friends and got me in with all [the journalism] people. It was really nice.”  

Throughout her 47-year career at TCC, Gallagher worked as a student newspaper adviser and taught English classes. Even when the college decided to move the newspaper to one campus, not needing multiple advisers, Gallagher stayed to continue teaching English. However, she was able to start working with the college newspaper again and even built online classes so that students from multiple different campuses could participate without having to drive across town. 

Her work led her to be named TIPA Adviser of the Year in 2005, College Media Association’s National Distinguished Two-Year Newspaper Adviser of the Year in 2015 and be inducted into the Distinguished Hall of Honor from the Texas Community College Journalism Association in 2017. 

“I loved so much of it,” she said. “Tarrant County College is such a good place, and I loved the students. I loved taking the students to conferences. I loved watching them when they come back from a session and get excited about something that they'd learn. I loved it all.”  

Her students have gone on to work for National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington D.C., the Washington Post and even become editors for papers in other states. 

“They're scattered around, just doing things and I love it when I get to hear from them,” she said. “It's fun to watch [them grow].”  

Gallagher also served in TIPA as secretary, vice president and president. And this year, she was inducted into the TIPA Hall of Fame for her “dedication to educate, inspire and improve the lives of community college journalism students.”  

And when asked how she feels about being inducted, she smiled and said, “Amazing. It was a shock.” 

Now retired, Gallagher reflects on all the people who touched her life and career in many ways.  

“What really mattered the most to me, was that I was in a group of people that I respect and who impacted my life,” she said. “And it all started with Dorothy Estes.”  

And her love for written words, which led to a career she was so passionate about with help from Estes, all began with those trips to the library with Sandra.  

“She just died last year,” she said. “It’s been rough.” 

And when sharing Sandra’s obituary on Facebook, Gallagher wrote, “I lost my best friend […] she had my back from day one.”  


Texas Wesleyan students and faculty also participate in TIPA’s annual conference and competitions. Gallagher mentioned that many TXWES students were excited to see an alumna be inducted and hear her story.  

If you are interested in a career in journalism, check out our majors in mass communication and sports communication 

Photo taken by Alex Hoben with The Collegian at Tarrant County College.

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