Tom Ruhl Scholarship at Marylhurst University

In memory of Dr. Thomas Ruhl, Founding Chair of Marylhurst’s Department of Education

Former President Tom Ruhl

The Tom Ruhl Scholarship is part of an initiative to open a path to high education for Latino community leaders, especially immigrants, who demonstrate a commitment to community service and who face economic barriers to pursuing higher education.

The CAPACES network unites nine social change organizations based in the Willamette Valley’s Latino community and anchored by Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon’s farmworker union, founded in 1985.  In 2012, the network welcomed the grand opening of the CAPACES Leadership Institute (CLI), a newly constructed building located next to PCUN’s hall in Woodburn.  The Institute’s core purpose is to engage the CAPACES network’s current and emerging leaders to (1) understand and debate the values and big ideas that drive and shape our work and (2) acquire or sharpen the skills need to put those values and ideas into effective action for the common good.

Marylhurst University is a proven leader in Oregon higher education focused on adult learners preparing “to be principled, proactive, compassionate and ethical leaders in service to their communities and the world.”  Marylhurst’s tradition places at the University’s core the mission to “serve the underserved” and “engage in social action for the good of the community.”

Through the Tom Ruhl Scholarship and the CLI-Marylhurst University Collaboration, Marylhurst would strive to offer educational counseling and assessment and the financial support necessary for participants to enroll at Marylhurst and attain a liberal arts degree.  Participants will be high school graduates or GED holders who, due to immigration status and/or economic condition, have no practical path to university education.  As is the case for many Marylhurst students, CLI-MU Collaboration participants will complete basic level course work at a community college (mostly likely Chemeketa) before entering Marylhurst.

The CAPACES Leadership Institute would likely apply the following type of criteria for selection of CLI-Marylhurst University Collaboration participants:

(1) past, present and future commitment to taking leadership roles in CAPACES organizations and goals for advancing that leadership;

(2) recommendation by and support of a CAPACES organization;

(3) commitment and seriousness to devoting time to higher education studies;

(4) financial barriers to university education; and

(5) High School graduation or GED holder with demonstrated leadership and academic potential to complete a baccalaureate degree.

The Institute and the sponsoring CAPACES organization would assist participants in seeking scholarships and undertake grassroots fundraising to defray transportation, child-care and other costs.

Successful participants in the CLI-Marylhurst University Collaboration will have gained years of leadership experience in community-based social change work, will have developed their leadership and the leadership of others through active participation in the Institute, will have completed the requirements for a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Marylhurst University, and will commit to continuing in leadership to advance community interests.

A successful collaboration will:  (1) serve the growing Latino community and key non-profit organizations on which that community relies; (2) strengthen Oregon by forging enduring bonds across cultural, racial and socio-economic lines; and (3) more deeply fulfill Marylhurst University’s and the Institute’s missions to empower those most marginalized.

For more information about the Collaboration, contact Larry Kleinman,