A Journey in Education

As a high school girl growing up in the shadow of Austin College, Ruby Nell McMahan Ormon took art lessons at Austin College. As an undergraduate student at University of North Texas, Ruby took summer classes at Austin College. Her college path ultimately led to a Ph.D. in nutrition at Texas Woman’s University.

Ruby’s college journey continued—as a faculty member at University of Nebraska, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, and Tarleton State, where she remained until her retirement in 1992, serving as department head and teaching in areas of foods, meal management, and nutrition.

Now living in the Dallas area, Ruby recently visited Austin College again, this time to tour its new science building, the IDEA Center. She had special purpose in this journey: her tour guide would be her grandson, Dr. John Richardson, who joined the Austin College chemistry faculty in 2008.

Richardson is the only one of her grandchildren to follow her into college teaching, and Ruby is proud of his success. He regularly offers a chemistry course that demonstrates the scientific principles behind some of the transformations utilized in cooking. Seems the two teachers’ work is more closely related than they seem at first glance.

Ruby recently made a legacy gift to Austin College through a Charitable Gift Annuity that ultimately will support the Chemistry Research Program (part of her grandson’s work). Meanwhile, the annuity provides income to her, which she is using to cross travel sites off her bucket list. She still has some journeys ahead!

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