Remembering Education and Civil Rights Advocate Eleanor Conrad

June 30, 2023

Eleanor Conrad, the widow of Dr. Emmett J. Conrad, passed away this week at the age of 99. 

Mrs. Conrad was a schoolteacher in St. Louis when the Conrads moved to Dallas from Missouri in 1955. They were active in civic and educational organizations for decades, making a major impact on K-12 schools and colleges across North Texas and the entire state.


eleanor conrad


Mrs. Conrad served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas State Board of Education. She was the first African American to serve as the foreman of a grand jury in Dallas County.

She also was a member and enthusiastic supporter of the Dallas African American Museum, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Dallas Symphony, the Women’s Council of Dallas County, and the NAACP, just to name a few.


Royce West and Eleanor Conrad


In 1993, State Sen. Royce West established the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program, now operated by UNT Dallas, to honor the life and legacy of Mrs. Conrad’s late husband. It provides college students with internship and employment opportunities, valuable work experience, and professional mentorship.

Donations in memory of Mrs. Conrad may be made payable to UNT Dallas Foundation, Attn: Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program,  and mailed to 7300 University Hills Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 75241. Gifts may also be made online at: 

If you wish to make a wire transfer, please contact Derrick Morgan at or 972.338.1845. 

The UNT Dallas family mourns the loss of Mrs. Conrad and offers our deepest condolences to her family. Funeral services are pending and will be shared when they are made public.