Celia Elizabeth Hoffman

Honored by:Celia Elizabeth Hoffman
Brick location:PAVER:15  map

This granite paver is named for the strong-minded women in my family.

I am Celia Elizabeth Hoffman, called Betsy. At this time, 1994, I am Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.

The first woman honored is my maternal great grandmother Susan Rush, who married Cecil Campbell Higgins. Her daughter, Celia Campbell Higgins, was my grandmother. She was wild, beautiful, and very tall (nearly 6 feet tall in 1915). My grandfather, Andre Kalpaschnikoff, was the director of the Russian Red Cross during World War I. They met in New York during a fundraising tour for the Red Cross. They returned to Russia after the October 1917 revolution but had to leave to save their lives. They escaped by crossing Asia on the Trans-Siberian railroad and hiding with my grandfather's family in Mongolia. They then returned to New York where my grandmother's family lived.

My mother, Celia Kalpaschnikoff, was born in New York in 1921. My aunt, Nadine Kalpaschnikoff, is her younger sister. My grandfather lost everything in the crash of 1929 and my grandparents were divorced in 1938. My grandmother, my mother, and my aunt moved to Philadelphia shortly thereafter and started a bakery to support themselves. My aunt and my mother married two brothers, Redwood Wright Hoffman (my father) and Edward Fenno Hoffman III. Their mother, my paternal grandmother, was Elizabeth Rodman Wright.

The two families lived with my maternal grandmother in a large house adjoining the bakery until I was 8 years old. She was one of the most important role models in my life. She was smart, hardworking, and very strong minded. She taught me gracious manners while instilling in me a will to succeed, a belief in myself, and the courage not to back down when I believed in something. She also taught me to treat every person as an individual regardless of their race or ethnic background. Excellence was all that mattered to her.  My mother and my aunt reinforced her training. She died in 1966 and my mother died in 1988. My aunt is still living.

Between the two families, there are 5 double-first cousins, 4 girls and 1 boy. My sister is Marjorie Hoffman and my cousins are Susan Rush Hoffman and Cynthia Logan Hoffman. We are all very strong-minded women. My sister is an attorney and my cousins are artists. Today my 9 year old niece, Emily Ann Hoffman Bublitz, is following in our footsteps already.


Paver Inscription:

"Strong-Minded Women In The
Hoffman/Kalpaschinikoff Family
Susan Rush
Celia Campbell Higgins
Elizabeth Rodman Wright
Celia Kalpaschinikoff
Nadine Kalpaschinikoff
Celia Elizabeth Hoffman
Marjorie Hoffman
Susan Rush Hoffman
Cynthia Logan Hoffman
Emily Ann Hoffman Bublitz"