Virginia Slater

Honored by:Terese S. Watson
Brick location:F:12  map

Virginia (Ginny) Slater Tobin was born on October 16, 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth and youngest child of John Charles and Pauline Robyn Tobin. Throughout her childhood, Ginny's parents encouraged her to be a good student and instilled in her a love of classical music.

After graduating from The Academy of the Sacred Heart - City House, Ginny went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in 1953 from Maryville College in St. Louis. She then taught second grade at a private boy's school for a year, saving her salary for an eagerly anticipated summer vacation in Europe with a childhood girlfriend. Aboard the ocean liner "Queen Mary", Ginny met and fell in love with a handsome young architect named Bernard (Barney) Slater, who was also her tour guide. An instructor in the architecture department at Iowa State College, Barney was supplementing his limited income leading summer tours to Europe.

It was love at first sight! The happy couple announced their engagement in Paris in July, and were married the following Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1954. Ginny and Barney's first home was a duplex at 208 Gray in Ames, followed by a grand, old, three-story home at 601 Hayward, directly across the street from the Iowa State Poultry Farm, and now the site of the Towers dormitories.

Ginny's life was, in one word, BUSY! Running a household of seven children Ginny, still found time to volunteer for several charitable groups, including the Mary Greeley Hospital Auxiliary, Faculty Women's Club, AIOFA (Ames International Orchestra Festival Association), and their church, St. Thomas Aquinas.

When her youngest child was in elementary school, Ginny began work toward a Master's degree at Iowa State University in, what else, child development! But alas, upon graduation in 1979, Ginny could find no teaching jobs. Instead, she took the advice of friends and entered the real estate market, where she continues today as a real estate professional.

Through her graduate work and husband Barney's 40-year tenure at ISU, Ginny came to love and respect the university. Four of her children are Iowa State graduates; the other three graduated from the University of Iowa.

As her children, we are honored to recognize Virginia Slater in the Plaza of Heroines, as she indeed is a heroine in our eyes. She has passed on to us the best of her many fine qualities: patience, self-discipline, and a loving, kind heart. She has taught us by example to be forgiving, to be an independent thinker, and to give of yourself. We admire her for her grace and strength under pressure, her love of her fellow man and woman and her undying faith in God.

We're proud to be her children and love her very much!

Tia Slater Watson
Deana Slater
James Slater
Julie Slater Bryant
Missy Slater Raisbeck
Polly Slater Wilson
John Slater

Submitted on 7/1/96