Margaret Adell Stites was born on November 8, 1910. She began drawing as a child, and never thought of doing anything else. She trained under Charles Umlauf at the University of Texas in Austin. Stites pioneered the art program at Angelo State University in the late 1940’s. She became an art professor at San Angelo College (now Angelo State University), and taught life drawing and elementary design from 1948-1952. She left to attend graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1958 she received the Louise C. Tiffany grant, allowing her to study in Europe. Stites backpacked around Europe for a while before a family illness brought her back to America.
She had a solo exhibition at SAMFA in 2003 when she was rediscovered through a curious turn of events. Just a few days after her solo exhibition opened, Stites passed away on October 2, 2003 at the age of 92. Fortunately she did get to see her exhibit before passing, and was created by many former students and colleagues at the opening. Angelo State University now has a memorial scholarship named after her, and it’s only given to the most dedicated students who take over 30 hours of art credit.