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November 2, 2020

Remembering Ruth Schaffer Schildhouse

On October 29, 2020, the CIP community said goodbye to an icon.  Ruth, who was born on October 29, 1927, died on her 93rd birthday.
 
Ruth, pictured here with late husband Burton Schildhouse in 2003, served as the Columbus International Program's first Executive Director from 1972 until she retired in 1999.  Ruth was central to the expansion and growth of Columbus International Program from its modest beginnings.   "I immediately saw that for it to support itself without being part of the [Ohio State] University, it had to be a larger program and people had to stay for the year rather than just for the summer, so it grew quite a bit during the time of those first early years but we didn’t have an office. I did it all out of our home," she recalled in an interview with the Columbus Jewish Historical Society

"The University ran the program for two years and then decided that it should be a community program and that they wanted more community involvement in it. They were looking for a director for it and Burt suggested that I apply for the director and I did and I got it and so I was appointed then as a faculty member at the College of Social Work to run the program and after a short time, we discovered that there was a conflict of interest because I was on the State Board of Education and you couldn’t serve on the State Board and be employed by the College so we proceeded to set it up as a completely independent program but there was still support from the University. The University continued to contribute finances toward it and made all kinds of services available. We were able to hold our orientation at the University and the people who came on the program got University I.D. cards and all of that because of the tie. But it became an independent program."

Ruth also served as President of the Columbus Metropolitan League of Women Voters from 1970 - 1974.  You can read her obituary here and the full 2003 interview here.

Ruth will be missed by all of us in the CIP community and the innumerable lives she touched around the world.  Thank you, Ruth!
Posted by Melissa Zwick on November 2, 2020 at 3:48 PM in CIPUSA Permalink
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