In Memoriam: Ruth Grace Zibart, 1919-2020

Ruth Grace Zibart, professor of French, emerita, and the first woman to serve as associate dean of the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University, died in Nashville on December 26. She was 101 years old.

A native of Baxter, Tennessee, Dr. Zibart earned a bachelor’s degree in 1941 from Tennessee Tech University, where she received the Howard Scholarship Medal for having the highest academic average in her senior class. The next year she earned a master’s degree in French at Vanderbilt University.

During World War II, Dr. Zibart worked in the cryptography section of the War Department’s Signal Corps in Washington, D.C., before moving to Virginia in 1945 to teach French at Marion Junior College for two years. She then taught at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, until 1957, when she began alternating her DePauw teaching responsibilities with pursuit of a doctorate in French literature at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Zibart joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1964 as an associate professor of French. She was named associate dean of the College of Arts and Science in 1973 and remained in that post for 12 years.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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