Brescia University will bestow its highest honor on Ursuline Sister Ruth Gehres on April 28 during its Distinguished Alumni Banquet.
Sister Ruth, a 1962 graduate of Brescia, followed 18 years as an English professor at Brescia with nine years as its president. She was the third president of Brescia, and during her tenure, the Campus Center was constructed, a bachelor’s degree in social work was added, and the first post-graduate degree, a master’s in management, was offered.
This award was created to honor those graduates who exemplify the elements that encompass The Brescia Difference: Respect for the Sacred, Devotion to Learning, Commitment to Growth in Virtue, and Promotion of Servant Leadership. Because of the breadth and scope of their life’s work, the magnitude of their impact on the regional, national, and often international scene, and their examples of service and leadership, alumni who receive this esteemed honor have distinguished themselves among their peers and demonstrated that they are true stars of Brescia.
After earning her doctorate in English from St. Louis University, Sister Ruth was an English professor at Brescia from 1967-85, taking a year off in 1981 to write the Ursuline Way of Life, and another a year in 1984 to teach in Germany. She returned to Brescia in 1985, but following the unexpected death of Sister George Ann Cecil, the Brescia president, Sister Ruth took over as acting president in December 1985. She was chosen as the permanent choice in February 1986, and served as president until stepping down in 1995.
Following her time at Brescia, she became the first Director of Communications for the Ursuline Sisters in 2000, and was the creator of Ursulines Alive magazine. In 2007 she embarked on her latest adventure, serving at Casa Ursulina, the Ursuline ministry in Chillan, Chile, where she and Sister Mimi Ballard help the people of the impoverished area with work skills and spirituality.
Sister Ruth, a native of Evansville, Ind., will celebrate her 60th year as an Ursuline Sister later this year.
Other Ursuline Sisters to be honored with this award by Brescia in recent years include Sister Michele Morek, Sister Joseph Angela Boone, Sister Rose Marita O’Bryan and Sister Dianna Ortiz.