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Marylhurst University Mourns Loss of Education Program Chair

For Release: July 07, 2011

Campus leader Dr. Thomas Ruhl founded innovative teacher graduate program

The entire Marylhurst University community is mourning the loss today of Dr. Thomas Ruhl, founder and chair of the university's graduate program in education. Ruhl died earlier today 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.

A statement from university president Judith Johansen:

"Marylhurst today has lost a pillar of our community. Tom Ruhl embodied everything that Marylhurst stands for: a focus on helping individual students achieve their dreams; a commitment to the value and dignity of every person; a belief that ethics, service and social responsibility are the drivers of a well-lived life. Tom was one of the most thoughtful, respectful and skilled educators and leaders I have been blessed to know, and the education program he built at our university is a lasting legacy to his belief that teaching is a sacred calling and responsibility. We will miss his daily presence and guidance tremendously, and are grateful for all he has left us. Our hearts go out to Tom's wife Mary, his daughter Amanda, his mother Zona and his brother Steve at this time of enormous loss for them and for our entire community."

Ruhl also served as chair of the University Faculty Council at Marylhurst in addition to his graduate program leadership. Prior to coming to Marylhurst, Ruhl founded the Principals' Center at Lewis & Clark College's Graduate School of Education and designed the college's doctorate program in educational administration. He spent many years as a K-12 teacher, principal and district superintendent before entering higher education. He earned his bachelor's degree from Lewis & Clark and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

Plans for a celebration of Ruhl's life are pending.

About Marylhurst University

Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university 10 miles south of Portland, Ore. on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence in serving adult learners. More than 1,900 students earn degrees on campus and online. Marylhurst offers 20 undergraduate degrees, 9 graduate degrees and 13 professional certificates, all of which integrate the liberal arts with professional studies to prepare students as interdisciplinary thinkers and ethical leaders.

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