Local columnist, educator Stein receiving honorary degree at USF commencement

A 1933 graduate of Fort Wayne Central High School, Stein earned a bachelor’s degree in social administration from Ohio State University in 1937, and then completed a master’s degree in education at the University of Saint Francis. She taught social studies and English at Fairfield Junior High, eventually chairing both departments. She was then curriculum coordinator at Memorial Park Middle School, and has served as a consultant since her retirement.

Her numerous awards include the the Esther Ritz Collyer Award for lifetime achievement in the fine arts in education, the Sagamore of the Wabash from the Indiana governor’s office, the 2010 Tapestry Award, B'nai Brith Outstanding Jewish Community Leader, the Central High School Alumna Award and the 2011 Allen County Council on Aging Older American of the Year award.

She has served as PTA president for South Wayne Elementary, Harrison Hill Junior High and South Side High School and been a member National Citizens Council for Better Schools, a charter member and president of Fort Wayne Citizens Education Council, a board member for Fort Wayne Jewish Federation and chair of the People of the Book lectures for many years. She has served on the boards of the Fort Wayne Urban League, Catholic Social Services, Y.W.C.A., Family and Children’s Services, Gingerbread House, League of Women Voters and Heartland Chamber Chorale.

“Many universities are justly proud of their graduates, but we at the University of Saint Francis feel exceptionally blessed and proud of the dedication Betty has shown to the community of Fort Wayne,” said university President Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF. “She has paved the way to new opportunities for those facing many challenges, by living the example. Her approach to community leadership and education demonstrates the standards by which a civil society is measured. This honorary degree publicly acknowledges her numerous achievements.”

The community is invited to commencement exercises and a preceding baccalaureate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 1122 S. Clinton St., Fort Wayne, at 9:30 a.m.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

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