University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

UMHB Honors First African American Graduate

April 22, 2017
UMHB Honors First African American Graduate

Belton, Texas – Each year, during Charter Celebration, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor inducts a new class into its Heritage Club to mark the 50th anniversary of the group’s graduation. Among this year’s Heritage Club inductees was Dr. Ruth Tomlin, the university’s first African American graduate. The UMHB Alumni Association paid special tribute to Tomlin, recognizing her as the Heritage Club’s first African American member, during this year’s celebration lunch on Saturday, April 22.

Tomlin graduated from UMHB in 1967 with bachelor’s degrees in both business and English. She went on to earn her master’s degree in education and education psychology and later a doctoral degree in education administration from Texas A&M University.

Tomlin broke ground, not just as a student but also as an educator. She taught English for the Killeen Independent School District, where she became KISD’s first African American student teacher and guidance counselor. After retiring from KISD in 1994, after a quarter century of service, Tomlin opened the Adolescent & Family Counseling Center in Killeen, where she served as president and chief executive officer.

In 1995, the 74th Texas House of Representatives honored Tomlin with House Bill HR 202, which recognized her outstanding contributions as an educator and community leader.

“We are so proud that Dr. Tomlin is a member of our UMHB family,” President Randy O’Rear said. “Her life serves as a perfect example of leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment.”

The recognition on Saturday included a proclamation from Belton Mayor Marion Grayson, who congratulated Dr. Tomlin for her lifetime of leadership.

“During her distinguished tenure with KISD, Dr. Tomlin earned the respect and admiration of her peers for her extraordinary work,” Grayson said. “[She] has dedicated much of her life to helping others reach their full potential.” 

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