Rice mourns Professor Emeritus Hally Beth Poindexter

Hally Beth Walker Poindexter ’47, professor emeritus of kinesiology and former department chair, died July 19. She was 88.

Poindexter’s lifelong commitment to promoting women — especially in sports — at Rice spanned more than 50 years. She served on the faculty from 1965 through 1998. During her 20-year tenure as chair of the Department of Kinesiology, Poindexter managed club sports, maintained the care and use of the gym and volunteered her time organizing and coaching the first women’s sports teams.

Hally Beth Walker Poindexter

Hally Beth Walker Poindexter

A vocal member of the Faculty Council, Poindexter was active in the cause of equality for women in varsity sports and instrumental in weaving Title IX into the fabric of Rice Athletics.

Poindexter, a longtime associate of Jones College, was an astute counselor for undergraduates. She was part of the Rice community during the tenure of every president from Edgar Odell Lovett to David Leebron, and she served on the Rice University Commission on Women that looked at conditions for female employees for the first time. The committee also was instrumental in developing a structure for assessing and redressing Rice’s policies and practices regarding female faculty and staff. For many years, Poindexter served as the university’s chief marshal.

In 2008 she received the Association of Rice Alumni’s Meritorious Service Award, in 2012 she received the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Pathfinder Award for excellence and leadership in her field and in 2015 she was inducted into the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame.

In addition to having a B.A. from Rice, Poindexter had a B.S. from the University of Houston, an M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado and an Ed.D. from Columbia University.

Poindexter is survived by her two daughters, Hally Beth Poindexter Toia and Pamela Walker Poindexter, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 22 at the Rice Memorial Chapel. A reception will follow in the “R” Room at Rice Stadium. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Rice’s women’s athletics program.


About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.