After 32 years of service to the University, Mary retired in 2003. She is presently employed as a real estate agent for CBSHome in Omaha, but the teacher inside has never retired:
“I see real-estate, or being a realtor, as being a service to the community because everything I do, I see as education. I work with a lot of young home buyers, scared to death, afraid to make wrong decisions. I use that moment to teach about home ownership and what they need to do to be prepared. It’s nice to make money, but I see it as an opportunity to educate the public in a different venue, which now just happens to be houses. I won’t be a millionaire, but it’ll supplement my retirement,” Mary said as she smiled (Interview).
Although her work keeps her busy, Mary has always found time to participate actively in her community. She worked as a board member of Girls, Inc., worked with the Visiting Nurses Association, was the president of her graduate chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (of which she is now treasurer), helped create the Women of Color Luncheon, served as a chair for the Women in Leadership Conference last year, and even served on the Board of Directors for the Butler-Gast YMCA. Currently, Mary is a member of the Omaha Metropolitan Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and works with minority realtors and lenders to reach out to the minority community about home ownership. She sings in the Voices of Victory Choir at Salem Baptist Church. She was also instrumental in the creation of the Women of Color Awards to recognize “‘she-roes’” who make “valuable contributions to our community that would otherwise not be recognized” (Parker). And, the community has not forgotten the work she has done as one of those valuable women.
In 2003, Mary was honored with the Durham Western Heritage Museum’s Award on behalf of the African American Achievement Awards by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and she was also honored at the ten-year and nineteen-year anniversaries of Project Achieve.