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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Ruth W. Friendly

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Ruth W. Friendly

Ruth W. Friendly

When Ruth Friendly (M.A. ’58) left teaching in 1981 to work with her husband, Fred, producing the award-winning Fred Friendly Seminars on PBS, he told her, “It’s just a larger classroom.” Today Ruth continues to direct the seminars, overseeing the library of programs, but she has always considered herself an educator first. 

For Ruth, that’s an important distinction. She believes in the importance of education, from its power to help children develop the self-esteem to realize their dreams, to its role in building individual communities, to its impact on society at large.

Ruth taught for 17 years in the Scarsdale, New York, public school system, at both the elementary- and middle-school levels, and she recalls this time as the most gratifying period of her career. She believes teachers should not merely provide intellectual content, but also inspire their students, just as she was inspired during her days as a Curriculum & Teaching student at Teachers College. Ruth has donated to TC every year since graduating. As she puts it, “What better place to support than the best school of education in the country?”


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