Marylouise and A.R. "Bill" Tandy

Marylouise (BA, 1944) and Alfred Randolph "Bill" Tandy were partners in a family entrepreneurial legacy that made "Tandy" a household name synonymous with innovation and value.

Bill was a member of the David L. Tandy Family, founders of the Tandy Corp. of Fort Worth, which began in 1919 as a leather wholesaler. In partnership with his brother, the company developed diversified retail holdings – most notably, the Radio Shack chain of electronics stores where Bill served as a director. Among Radio Shack’s most significant products was its TRS-80 personal computer, introduced in 1977 – a groundbreaking unit that introduced a generation of students to personal computing.

Bill Tandy oversaw enterprises of his own, including Tandy Industries, a property developer specializing in homes and institutional buildings such as dormitories and libraries. He also was the president, CEO and a director of Great Yellowstone Corp., a Tulsa-based oil and gas producer. He was a World War II pilot and served several organizations including the YMCA and Junior Achievement of Greater Tulsa.

Marylouise grew up in Tulsa and studied at the University of Texas before completing an art degree at The University of Tulsa in 1944. She and Bill were married that September and remained together until his death in 1971. They had two children – Alfred Randolph "Rant" Tandy, Jr. and Carol Tandy (BS, 1978).

Marylouise's philanthropy was celebrated both in Tulsa and in her later home of Maine. She was inducted into the Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame in 2000. She was a lifelong arts enthusiast, supporting arts organizations including Tulsa's Philbrook Museum, Tulsa Ballet and Ruskin Art Club; the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine; and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. In recognition of her many achievements, The University of Tulsa named Marylouise a Distinguished Alumna in 1998; the following year, she was awarded the Connecticut College Medal.

Marylouise Tandy Cowan died at her home in Southport Island, Maine, on March 28, 2009, having established a remarkable personal and philanthropic legacy. Thanks to the foresight of Bill and Marylouise Tandy, their successes continue to create significant opportunities for worthy beneficiaries.

Through the visionary support of the Marylouise Tandy Cowan Revocable Trust and the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation, The University of Tulsa has fortified the talent and intensified the activities of its distinguished program in Computer Science. Inspired by this bold partnership and the stories behind it, The University of Tulsa is honored to establish the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy School of Computer Science.

The university community salutes the transformative generosity and bright examples of Bill and Marylouise, anticipates the groundbreaking work to be done here, and celebrates the generations of innovators for whom the Tandy School will become the gateway to a lifetime of achievement, prosperity and service.