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Names and Places of UTSA: Margaret Batts Tobin

June 24, 2011

The second post in our Names and Places of UTSA series honors Margaret Batts Tobin. Both a street and the 2005 laboratory building on UTSA’s campus were named after this businesswoman, philanthropist, and civic leader. Margaret Lynn Batts grew up in Austin, but settled in San Antonio in 1926 with her Husband, Edgar Tobin, who founded an aerial survey company. She was involved in numerous civic and volunteer activities both in San Antonio and New York City.  She served as president of the McNay Art Museum, helped launch the San Antonio Symphony in 1939, and served on the national board of Recording for the Blind.  Tobin was the third woman appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas.  After Edgar died in a plane crash in 1954, Tobin took over as chairman of the board of his company, which still provides aerial survey maps of Texas.

Photograph of Margaret Batts Tobin, 1940

Tobin died in San Antonio in 1989, but the endowment established by her and her son, Robert, continues to fund projects around San Antonio. Money from the Tobin Endowment supported the construction of the laboratory building that bears her name. It is also partially supporting the reconstruction of the Tobin Center for Performing Arts which will be the new home of the San Antonio Symphony starting in 2013.


Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, “TOBIN, MARGARET LYNN BATTS,” Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed June 15, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Rodriguez, Kris. “Sen. John Cornyn opens UTSA $10.6 million science lab,” UTSA Today, November 15, 2005. (, accessed 6/15/11.

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Tobin Endowment Announced. (, accessed 6/15/2011.

One Comment leave one →
  1. James permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:29 pm

    Margaret Tobin’s son was Robert, not Roger.

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