Our Founder & President: Mary Regula

Mary Regula has had a varied career as a schoolteacher, Congressional spouse and mother of three children. She has distinguished herself in service to her community and nation through dedication to education, her involvement in numerous volunteer activities, and personal leadership. She also reaches out to people through her inspirational and historical programs.   Mary received an honorary doctorate in Humanities from Mount Union College in May, 1999, and, in May 2004, The University of Akron bestowed on her an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in Education.   She was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in October, 1999.   Her most outstanding accomplishment is being the founder of the National First Ladies’ Library.

Community service, TV appearances, and numerous civic awards have kept Mary in the forefront of issues regarding women in today's society. Mary appeared on the "TODAY" show as Chairman of the "Made in the USA" project and discussed the organization's mission to encourage Americans to buy products manufactured domestically. As President of the National Congressional Club, she was interviewed by Roger Mudd on "McNeil-Lehrer" where she defended Congressional spouses' right to work. She received special award recognition from the League of Women Voters and a Presidential citation for her community outreach on women's issues from Malone University in Ohio. In 1996, she was the first woman to receive the Women Helping Women Award from Soroptomist International. She was also made an honorary member of the organization. Mary also serves as an honorary member of "PACE", which is a project that serves domestic violence victims. Mrs. Regula's background in American History, in which she received a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Union College in Ohio, has served her well. She is a member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, the Smithsonian Society, National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Ohio Historical Society.

Mrs. Regula's leadership and activism in the area of education demonstrates her commitment to lifelong learning. She taught on both the elementary and secondary levels. She is the former President of the National Cabinet of Mount Union Women, where she founded the first National Student Women's Scholarship. She is a well-known speaker and lecturer and regularly lectures on topics related to women, United States history and First Ladies. Her presentations include "First Ladyship: Powers and Influence", "Ohio's First Ladies", "Life of Mary Todd Lincoln", "Miracle in Philadelphia", "Inside the White House", "Our Nation's Capitol", and "Christmas at the White House".

It was through Mary's research on history and First Ladies that she discovered the educational void regarding information about First Ladies and other women who have contributed so much to our nation's history. Determined to make it easier for others to learn about these great historical figures, Mary assembled a board of 13 people to raise the funds and hire a historian to create a complete 40,000-entry bibliography on all first ladies from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama.   It is the cornerstone of the National First Ladies’ Library and now the First Ladies National Historic Site.   Mrs. Regula currently serves as the National First Ladies' Library's Founding Chair and President.

Mary is married to former U. S. Representative Ralph Regula and resides on a farm in Stark County, Ohio. They have three children and four grandchildren. She is a member of St. Timothy Episcopal Church.