Wilhelmina Ruth Fitzgerald Delco devoted more than three decades to public service. In 1968 Delco was elected to the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees as the first African
American elected to public office in Austin. Delco later served 10 terms in the Texas Legislature and served on more than 20 different committees.
In 1991 she became the first woman appointed Speaker Pro Tempore. Throughout Delco's legislative career she was appointed, served in leadership capacities, and received top honors from nearly
every national education board in the country. Delco's consistent dedication to education gained her a national reputation in the field of higher education.
Delco retired from the Texas Legislature in 1995 but remains an active force in higher education. She chairs the national boards of the United States Department of Education's National Advisory
Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity and the Compact for Faculty Diversity. Delco is also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin.