Dr. Thomas Ruhl, founder and chair of the university’s graduate program in education, passed away on July 07, 2011 of complications from a bacterial infection. Ruhl joined Marylhurst in September 2006 to direct the creation of two graduate programs in education – a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education. Under his leadership, the Master of Arts in Teaching became a new model for helping aspiring teachers gain extensive practical experience; model the values of leadership, professionalism and service; specifically prepare to teach K-12 students who are not English speakers or have other barriers to success; and use state-of-the-art instructional technology, all thanks in great part to the strong curriculum Ruhl and his faculty developed and the relationships they built with local school districts.
In Tom Ruhl’s honor, the Marylhurst University Service Program organized a campus book drive and a virtual book drive for our Marylhurst student teaching placement site schools. The book drive was conducted in the Fall of 2011 to collect books for young children. Almost 400 books were collected, schools in partnership with the Education Department at Cherry Park School, Lent School and Oak Grove Elementary as schools in partnership with Marylhurst University were chosen to each receive a part of the books collected.
Tom always introduced himself as a first grade teacher on special assignment. His message whether a principal, superintendent, professor, or department chair was that he always wanted us to keep the young child as a learner at the center of everyone’s attention. From the MAT students, and the many contributors to the book drive who loved Tom Ruhl, our hope is that the young children at these schools will enjoy reading the books and find reading a wonderful way to adventures.
Tamara Meek, a Marylhurst MAT student, presented John Horn, principal of Lent Elementary, the collected books on Nov 29, 2011