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Alumna Feature - Ruth Benton

September 4th, 2013 Alumna Feature - Ruth Benton

Ruth Benton is a Chatfield College alumna, a recently retired and well-respected Chatfield staff member and a quiet believer in supporting the College’s students through gifts to campus initiatives.  Ruth came to Chatfield College upon retiring from a 33 year career with the U.S. Postal Service; she is the epitome of the many non-traditional students who succeed within the school’s supportive, small college experience and give back to Chatfield College following graduation.

“Twelve years ago, this September, I read an article in the Sunday paper that described Chatfield’s small class sizes and non-traditional students.  I called on Monday morning for information, thinking that I’d enroll for the following fall, since classes had already begun.  The next day was 9/11 and I realized that nothing is promised to you; you don’t know how much time you have to live your life.  On September 12, I went down to the College, submitted my application, and enrolled for Spring 2002.

“I was impressed.  Chatfield was small and personal.  I had recently retired, my youngest child was in college, and this was the right environment.  After I graduated, I was volunteering in the library and completing a third year of classes.  I was asked to work for the registrar’s office, and became an assistant  registrar and student advisor.  This spring I retired after 6 ½ years.

“I believe in supporting endowed student scholarships because when I came to Chatfield, I applied and received the Sr. Agatha Fitzgerald Scholarship.  I’d been out of school for years and was thinking, can I do it, can I compete with the younger students?  I wrote my scholarship essay, and when I was selected, it was a real boost for me.  Other people thought I could do it and that gave me confidence. 

“I have never been able to contribute a lot to fundraising campaigns, but I believe in Chatfield’s mission and donate a small amount each year.  There are many who could not go to college if Chatfield were not available to them.  Receiving scholarships helped me and I am happy to do what I can for students today.” 

After completing her associate’s degree, Ruth received a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College.  She returned to Chatfield College as a volunteer and later as an employee.  Ruth, having enjoyed one summer in retirement, has agreed to re-join the Chatfield staff this fall on a part-time basis.  She will serve as a student advisor, assist with student retention, and provide tutoring services.


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