Published on August 26, 2004 by William Nunnelley  

Dr. Ruth C. Ash, who led Samford’s education school to national prominence during an 11-year tenure as dean, left the University in October to become deputy superintendent of education for Alabama.

In her new role, she oversees all aspects of instruction for the state’s education department.

Ash joined Samford as dean of the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies in 1992. Her tenure was marked by continuing growth and progress capped by the education school’s selection in 2000 to receive the first National Award for Effective Teacher Preparation. U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley presented the award in Washington, describing Samford’s education school as “a national model of excellence for effective teacher preparation.”

Samford President Thomas E. Corts noted that the selection of Samford as   one of the four best teacher certification programs in the nation “has to stand as a crowning accomplishment” of Dr. Ash’s career. “If those same gifts and abilities can renovate K–12 education in Alabama, I suppose we ought to share her,” he added.

Ash said she was grateful for the chance to contribute to the programs at Samford and looks forward to working with Samford people in the future.

“I want to express my appreciation to the faculty of the education school and the faculty and administration of Samford,” she said. “Working with these people made my job a delight. At the same time, I am honored and deeply moved by this opportunity to serve Alabama’s children and educators, and I am excited about working to help every child and every school to succeed.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.