"Terrell is a native Texan who graduated from Baylor University in 1943 and joined the US Army the following day. After the Army, he went on to earn his MA in 1947 from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. He was hired as a research associate in the Bureau of Municipal Research at The University of Texas at Austin. The bureau was headed by Dr. Stuart MacCorkle and later became the Institute of Public Affairs. When the LBJ School was established, the Institute was folded into the new school. Terrell left the bureau in 1950 to become personnel director for the City of Austin, eventually returning to the LBJ School in 1982 as the first holder of the Mike Hogg Professor in Urban Management.
Terrell believes that citizens are most affected by governments when they live in cities and that the services provided by cities are vital to the well- being of Americans. Small towns have closer ties with their residents, and therefore demonstrate better civic management. It is because of this disparity in civic management that Terrell wants the University to encourage its students to pursue careers in city management, which he believes is an exciting and challenging vocation. Terrell hopes the Terrell Blodgett Endowment for Government Services in Urban Management and Finance will encourage students to enter the field.