Arthur Mallory photo

Arthur Mallory, Distinguished Graduate Inducted 2017

  • Dr. Arthur Lee Mallory began his early years of education in Verona, Missouri before moving to Buffalo with his parents Dillard and Ferrell Mallory in 1944, a time when the school was the town. At this time Dallas County consisted of 57 small school districts and five high schools, including Louisburg, Windyville, Tunas, and Buffalo. He engaged in a much deeper education in Dallas County Schools as his father, D.A. Mallory, served as the superintendent of Dallas County Schools for 32 years. His mother was also a teacher, teaching home economics. He, and his younger sister, Kathryn, experienced education at a different level, engaging in learning activities such as cleaning, cutting the weeds in the ditches, and working the snack bar.  These experiences were part of Arthur’s and his sister’s upbringing.

    After graduation from Buffalo High School in 1951, he entered summer school at Missouri State University, graduated three years later and married a 1953 Buffalo graduate, Joann Peters in June of 1954. Shortly after, he entered the United States Army and he and Joanne moved to Germany where their first child was born, and Arthur served in the US Army.

    In 1956 he returned to the states and completed his Masters and Doctorate degrees at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He became the assistant to the superintendent in Columbia schools and taught at the University of Missouri, finishing his Doctorate in  1959. He became the Dean of the University of Missouri in St. Louis serving in this role for five years. He was then contacted by the Board of Regents at Missouri State University to interview. He served as the President of Missouri State for six and one-half years. During this time the campus size doubled and the graduate program was added.

    He was then contacted by the Missouri State Board of Education and asked to interview for the Commissioner of Education. After the fourth time, he agreed. Beginning in 1971, he served in this role for 18 years. Missouri Education saw many positive changes to education during his tenure as the Commissioner of Education.  An early childhood education program was developed and implemented. It also became a model of other states in the country. The concept of Parents As Teachers was also born.  There was also no provisions for students with disabilities. A group of 66 organizations who had an interest in special education, came together and wrote the special education legislation

    In 1988 he retired and he and Joann returned to Springfield, but then he served as the Dean of Education at Missouri State under President Marshall Gordon for three years before retiring again.

    Today, he continues to be involved in education keeping some office hours at his informal office at Panera Bread on Battlefield, teaching a Sunday School class and a bible study class at Elfindale, as well as serving on the Board of Directors at O’Bannon Bank. He and Joann also find time to enjoy their Table Rock Lake Get-A-Way.

    He and Joann have four children.  The late Dennis Mallory, who they sadly lost in 1978, Chris who is retired from educational administration in St. Louis, Stephanie Brown who is a retired teacher in Springfield, and Jennifer who also taught for a short time in Columbia before leaving education and relocating to Raytown.  Dr. and Mrs. Mallory have nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Joann was also involved in education teaching elementary and English Language Arts for 16 years in the Jefferson City Public Schools and the Springfield Title I program.