Texas Tech University

Margarette Harden Remembered By Human Sciences

Emily Gardner

November 24, 2015

Harden was a College of Human Sciences faculty member for 25 years.

Margarette Harden Mercer

Margarette Harden, a former Texas Tech University faculty member in the College of Human Sciences, died Nov. 18.

Born in Lubbock County in 1925, Harden graduated from Lubbock Cooper High School and obtained both her master's and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech in the College of Human Sciences and College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. She was a Texas Tech faculty member for 25 years from 1967-1992, where she earned several awards including the President's Excellence Award, the Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award and the Spencer A. Wells Faculty Award, according to her obituary.

Harden served on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Dieticians and was one of the 12 members of the Agriculture and Nutrition Delegation to China in 1981. After retiring from Texas Tech, she opened a dietetic consulting service and split time between Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Fulton.

Her daughter, Cinda Stewart, said Harden loved Texas Tech and after receiving her bachelor's degree decided she wanted to be a teaching assistant, which she loved so much she went on to pursue her master's and doctoral degrees.

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“The woman is pretty outstanding, 90 years old,” Stewart said. “She lived a great life and was a great mother, loved life and people, just an outstanding person.”

Lynn Huffman, executive associate dean in the College of Human Sciences, met Harden in 1980 and continued to stay in touch even after Harden retired.

“Margarette Harden was one of the first people I met when I joined the food and nutrition department,” Huffman said. “She was an informal mentor to me and was always available for questions and conversation. She helped me find my way and was always supportive. I will never forget her kindness and welcoming spirit. She made a big difference for me.”

Shelley Fillipp, director of the dietetic internship at Texas Tech, was another person influenced by Harden and the role she played in dietetic education.

“While I did not have Margarette Harden for any undergraduate courses, I did have her serve on my thesis committee,” Fillipp said. “I appreciated her diligence in reviewing multiple versions of my thesis. She was always so supportive through the process and I appreciated the smile she always seemed to have for me. She played a major role in dietetics education in her 25-year tenure at Texas Tech and will be missed.”