Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ruth A. Schmidt, R.I.P.

I'd like to remember publicly Ruth A. Schmidt who died on May 24, 2010.  She was President of Agnes Scott College from 1982-1994, arriving shortly before I was hired to teach in the Department of Bible and Religion. She was a Christian feminist in those early days when it wasn't easy to hold the two together.

Born September 20, 1930, in Minnesota, Ruth was a graduate of Augsburg College.  She received an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.  She began teaching high school Spanish and English in Minnesota, then went on to teach Spanish at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. 
She joined the State University of New York at Albany as an assistant professor of Spanish and eventually became Dean of Humanities.  She then served as provost and professor of Spanish at Wheaton College, a women’s college in Massachusetts, from 1978 to 1982, before completing her career as president of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, from 1982 to 1994.  At a celebration of her life held in the chapel at Agnes Scott on June 16, she was remembered as the women’s college’s first female president and as an advocate for campus diversity and international study.

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