In honor of late Congressman Ralph Regula and his wife, Mary (Rogusky ’49) Regula's commitment to public service, the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement was named in their honor. Following retirement, the Regulas continued their involvement with the campus community by attending events, talking with students, and supporting efforts to advance the center and the Regula Scholars program.
Ralph Regula Legacy
Ralph and Mary Regula
The late trustee emeritus and former Congressman Ralph Regula attended Mount Union on the G.I. Bill where he graduated in 1948. During his time as a student at Mount Union, he met his beloved wife, Mary (Rogusky ’49). He began his career as a teacher and principal while attending the William McKinley School of Law from which he earned an L.L.B. degree in 1956. Upon completion of his degree, he opened his own law practice.
His interest in public service and his background in education brought him to serve on the Ohio Board of Education. A few years later, he was elected to the Ohio General Assembly, first as a state representative and then a state senator.
Regula was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1973 – the first of 18 straight victories before deciding not to seek re-election in 2008. At the time of his retirement, he was the second longest serving Republican in the House with the longest continuous term of anyone ever from Ohio.
During his time in Congress, he served as a member of the influential Appropriations Committee and also as the ranking Republican of the Committee’s Interior subcommittee, among others. Regula was well-known for his bipartisan nature, often working across party lines in order to create positive change.
Among his many accomplishments, he is credited with establishing the Stark County Regional Planning Commission, creating the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Stark State College, shepherding legislation to establish the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, and establishing the National First Ladies’ Library with Mary.
Throughout his career, Ralph remained a loyal alumnus of and advocate for Mount Union. He joined the Mount Union Board of Trustees in 1964 and earned an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the institution.
Mary (Rogusky ’49) Regula
Mary (Rogusky '49) Regula had a varied career as a schoolteacher, congressional spouse, and mother of three children. She distinguished herself in service to her community and nation through dedication to education, her involvement in numerous volunteer activities, and personal leadership.
Mary's love of history, in which she majored as a student at Mount Union, led to her involvement in numerous civic organizations. She was a member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, Smithsonian Society, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Ohio Historical Society. 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 1996, she was the first woman to receive the Women Helping Women Award from Soroptimist International and was also named an honorary member of the organization. In addition, Mary served as an honorary member of "PACE", a project that serves domestic violence victims.
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 contributed 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. This work was the cornerstone of the National First Ladies' Library and, now, the First Ladies National Historic Site.
Her leadership and activism in the area of education demonstrates her commitment to lifelong learning. She taught at both the elementary and secondary levels and was the former president of the National Cabinet of Mount Union Women. It was in this role that she founded the first National Student Women's Scholarship.
Mary received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University in 1999. The University of Akron bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctor of Science in Education in 2004. In addition, she was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 1999. Her most outstanding accomplishment is being the founder of the National First Ladies' Library.