Alumni News – Ruth Warner Van Horn (1918-2019)

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UCLA alum Ruth Warner Van Horn, the first female chemistry faculty member at Franklin & Marshall College, passed away on January 20, 2019, at the age of 100.

VanHorn%2C%20Ruth2Professor Emeritus Ruth Warner Van Horn was the first female faculty member in the chemistry department at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) in Lancaster, PA and was one of the first female instructors on the F&M campus. In 1954, she was the first F&M female faculty member to be tenured. 

According to F&M chemistry department’s 2017 newsletter, which was dedicted to Van Horn in honor of her then upcoming 100th birthday, Van Horn received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from UCLA and her doctorate from Penn State University. For 33 years (1949 to 1982) Van Horn taught organic chemistry, and influenced many of her students to enter the fields of chemistry and medicine. At her retirement dinner from F&M, Professor John Farrell said of her: “Ruth Van Horn is many things: A chemist, a gardener, a champion of wildlife, a scholar and a friend…but she is not replaceable”.  

Van Horn was preceded in death by her husband John Van Horn, and is survived by his nieces and nephews.  At her request, there will be no service.

Article by Penny Jennings, UCLA Chemsitry & Biochemistry.  Photos from F&M 2017 Newsletter.