Ruth Mayden, MSS ‘70

Published Date: September 3rd, 2008
Category: Uncategorized

Director for the Program for Families with Young Children at The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Ruth MaydenRuth served Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research for three decades, culminating in her leadership as Dean from 1986 through 2001. Ruth helped students establish Bryn Mawr’s GSSWSR chapter of National Association of Black Social Workers. She garnered support for the School to participate in Child Welfare Educational Leadership grants, which improved capacity within child welfare system and enabled many professional staff, most of whom were persons of color, to pursue graduate social work education. She also obtained support for federally funded “Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowships” which enabled recruitment of students of color, generally, and African American students, in particular, to pursue careers in public sector. As a tribute to her visionary service and leadership, the Ruth W. Mayden Scholarship Fund was established by the College to provide financial aid to students enrolled in the Policy Practice and Advocacy (PPA) concentration, or those interested in urban disadvantaged populations – and ultimately embody Ruth’s legacy of advocacy and social justice activism.

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2 Responses to “Ruth Mayden, MSS ‘70”


I claimed Ruth Mayden as my big sister when we were students together at the GSSWSR. I knew her at Wester High School and Morgan State College, but was not as closely connected. I admired her from a distance, because she seemed so able to function in diverse circles. She was always in leadership roles. Because of her participation in the student-faculty recrutiment effort at Bryn Mawr, I considered the GSSWSR. I knew that if Ruth could recommend a school, I needed to look at it. I’ve enjoyed our friendship and still admire her for her ability to look at any situarion and find a solution. She comes into the “room” with the belief that no problem is impossible to overcome.I marvel at her gift of encouraging united effort across would-be barriers. My proudest moment was to work under the leadership of my big sister as he served as assistant dean and then dean of the GSSWSR. I have deliberately modeled myself after Ruth Mayden, my mentor and big sister.


As a Bryn Mawr Trustee, I had the chance to see Ruth Mayden in action as head of GSSWSR. She is a charismatic and inspiring leader, who brought great prominence to Bryn Mawr and made the work of GSSWSR visible nationally. We were especially proud of her leadership of the National Association of Social Workers, and at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, she continues to do important work on the national level on behalf of children and their families. How wonderful it is that Bryn Mawr is honoring Ruth Mayden.