Ruth Shaw Gilman

Honored by:Henry Gilman
Brick location:C:2  map

Aug. 23 1901 - Jan. 28 1987

 Ruth V. Shaw - born in Des Moines, Iowa where she attended East High School and then Iowa State College where she received a AB degree in history in 1924. After teaching for two years in a one room school house in Paton, Iowa Ruth Shaw had saved enough money to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. where she received an AM degree in English & Speech.

She then returned to ISC where she taught speech & drama for two years. Ruth Shaw first met Henry Gilman while attending a first-year class in organic chemistry. Henry Gilman had arrived in Ames in 1919 as an Assistant Professor in charge of organic chemistry. It is recorded that his arrival in Ames 'caused some excitement among the young women of the college when faced with a cultured tall upright distinguished-looking and athletic young man with a Boston accent Harvard background; and experience in some of the great universities of Europe.'*

A few years later the woman who was to become his wife made contact with him as a result of a friendly bet that she could not induce him to take her out. Needless to say she won her wager and Ruth Shaw & Henry Gilman were married in 1929. During World War II Ruth Gilman was secretary to her husband in his research work; the office of Scientific Research & Development of the National Defense Research Committee presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her work in assisting defense efforts.

And from 1947 on she acted as her husbands eyes after glaucoma and a detached retina left him virtually blind. Ruth Gilman was a member of the Episcopal Parish of Ames DAR Faculty Women's Club Ames Play Makers chair of the Ames Chapter of American Red Cross and one of the founders of the ISU chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. In 1974 she helped organize & establish the annual Gilman Lecture Series and the Gilman Fellowship Fund. Ruth Shaw Gilman devoted her life & her love to her husband two children one grandson and three grand-daughters.

*Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society