Dr. Hersilia Alvarez-Ruf, who retired from the Hope College Spanish faculty in 2005, died on Sunday, July 15. She was 68.
The funeral service will be held Friday, July 20, at 10 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel, with a reception following in the rotunda of the MarthaMillerCenter for Global Communication.
Alvarez-Ruf had been at Hope for more than 20 years. She joined the faculty in 1984, and taught courses ranging from beginning Spanish, to "Advanced Grammar and Composition," to "The Hispanic World Today." She repeatedly taught May and June Term courses because she enjoyed working with beginning language students. She was active in connecting with students outside the classroom as well.
For more than a decade she was advisor of the Sigma Sigma sorority. She helped the college's Career Services office with events, was a bingo caller for the Social Activity Committee's "Vegas Night" for many years, participated in Senior Banquet skits and worked with the Hispanic Student Organization.
In 1994, the graduating class presented her with the "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award. In 1996, the student body presented her with the inaugural Homecoming "Favorite Faculty/Staff Member Award." Her extensive service to Hope included directing the college's student exchange program with the Autonomous University of Queretaro in Mexico.
Alvarez-Ruf completed her undergraduate degree at the Universidad de Concepcion in Chile, her M.Phil. at the University of Leeds in London, England, and her doctorate at the University of Michigan. She taught at the Universidad de Concepcion prior to coming to Hope.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., at the corner of College Avenue and 12th Street. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on the corner of Columbia Ave. and 10th St.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to a scholarship fund at Hope that will be established in her name for students in the college's Spanish program.