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McElhinney, Charles Flemming | University of Houston Libraries

Name: McElhinney, Charles Flemming

Historical Note:

Charles Flemming McElhinney (commonly known as C. F. McElhinney or “Mr. Mac”) was born on Sept. 19, 1907 in Truro, Nova Scotia. He received a bachelor’s degree from Acadia University in 1926 at the age of eighteen and taught in public schools in Canada before continuing his graduate studies. He received a master of arts degree from Columbia University in 1928.

Mr. McElhinney taught in the public school systems in Chester Basin and Halifax, Nova Scotia before moving to the United States. He was an assistant professor at the State Teachers College in Troy, Alabama from 1930-1931 and at the Mississippi State College for Women from 1931-1934. He moved to Houston in 1934, taking the position of assistant director of curriculum and research for the Houston Independent Schools District from 1934-1939. Mr. McElhinney then became the director of research from 1939-1945, when he became the business manager for the University of Houston, which until 1945 had been operated by the Houston Independent School District. During this time he also served as a staff assistant to Mr. E. E. Oberholtzer, the president of the University.

From 1945 until his retirement in 1973, Mr. McElhinney served as the business manager of the University. During this time, he was given the position of vice-president and business manager from 1950-1962, and was senior vice president for finance and treasurer from 1962-1973. He also served as interim president of the University from 1953-1954.

During Mr. McElhinney’s years at the University, he also served as a faculty member in the department of education, and as a sponsor of several student activities and programs. Additionally he was the coach of the first athletic team fielded by the University (ice hockey) in 1934 while the University was still known as the Houston Junior College.

When Mr. McElhinney retired in 1973 (at the end of the fiscal year), the Board of Regents renamed the Graduate Studies building in honor of McElhinney’s decades of service to the University.

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