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Ruth Brett Quarles

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Information about Ruth Brett Quarles

Profile image of Ruth Brett Quarles

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Salmon (Poached)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
That's fine.

Birthplace

Born:
11/23/1914
Birth Location:
Winton, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Salmon (Poached)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
That's fine.

Birthplace

Born:
11/23/1914
Birth Location:
Winton
See how Ruth Brett Quarles is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Ruth Brett Quarles devoted her life to working with others. Born November 23, 1914 in Winton, North Carolina, as the second of seven children, her mother was a homemaker and her father, an independent farmer. After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, Quarles attended Shaw University, where she earned her A.B. in 1935 and graduated the top of her class. She earned her M.A. from the Hartford Seminary Foundation the following year, and later returned to school, earning an Ed.D. from Columbia University in 1945.

Quarles began her professional career in 1936 as assistant to the dean of women at Spelman College. In 1938, she became the dean of women at Dillard University, and in 1942, the dean of students at Bennett College. In 1944, she took a position as the associate personnel director at Tuskegee Institute, and in 1949, she became a volunteer with the American Friends Service Committee at the University of Munich, where she worked with displaced German refugees in the aftermath of World War II. Quarles was named the dean of students at Fisk University in 1951, and in 1956, she went to Morgan State University, where she remained until her retirement in 1980. While at Morgan State, she held a variety of posts, including serving as the coordinator of student personnel services and the director of counseling and academic advising.

Quarles’ career involvement included being the first African American to sit on the Commission on Education of Women, as well as serving on the national board of directors of the YWCA of America and the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors (NAWDAC). In 1982, NAWDAC sponsored the Ruth Brett Symposium at the University of Maryland to celebrate her long career and dedication to service. Quarles has been listed in Who’s Who Among American Women, Who’s Who Among Black Americans and Who’s Who Among American College and University Administrators. She was married to the late historian and scholar Benjamin A. Quarles, who passed away in 1996.

Quarles passed away on January 16, 2007.

Quarles was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 11, 2003.

See how Ruth Brett Quarles is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruth Brett Quarles's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruth Brett Quarles lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about her mother's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruth Brett Quarles explains her lack of knowledge about her maternal family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruth Brett Quarles shares a story about racial classifications in Hertford County, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls growing up in the Great Depression in Winton, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruth Brett Quarles describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruth Brett Quarles describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about the importance of church and school during her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about the importance of education in her family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruth Brett Quarles reflects upon her access to radio and newspapers during her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls the influence of her school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruth Brett Quarles describes her career aspirations and personality as a student at Waters Training School in Winton, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruth Brett Quarles explains how she entered Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about working in the president of Shaw University's home and the speakers that visited the university in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ruth Brett Quarles describes the restricted campus life during her time at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls the influence of William Stuart Nelson at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls influential figures at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruth Brett Quarles details her graduate school trajectory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruth Brett Quarles remembers W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruth Brett Quarles remembers Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about her time as dean of women at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls the people she met during her time at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about E. Franklin Frazier's wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about leaving Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana for Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about the segregation during the 1940s in both the North and the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls her time at Columbia University in New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about her time at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls working with the American Friends Service Committee in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls her time in Europe with the American Friends Service Committee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruth Brett Quarles explains how she met and married historian Dr. Benjamin A. Quarles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls her work in student services at Morgan State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruth Brett Quarles describes her husband, historian Benjamin A. Quarles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruth Brett Quarles details the publications of her husband, historian Benjamin A. Quarles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruth Brett Quarles remembers HistoryMaker John Hope Franklin
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about Morgan State University's approach in the era of campus protests
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about the continuing challenges of racial integration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls her work integrating various organizations she belonged to, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ruth Brett Quarles recalls her work integrating various organizations she belonged to, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about her husband's illness
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ruth Brett Quarles talks about the changing needs of youth
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ruth Brett Quarles reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ruth Brett Quarles considers what she would have done differently
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ruth Brett Quarles describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ruth Brett Quarles narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ruth Brett Quarles narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ruth Brett Quarles narrates her photographs, pt. 3