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Considered by many as amazing in everything in which she was a part, Ruth Allen White was born on November 17, 1903, at Colerain, Bertie County, North Carolina. She attended public schools in the area, and enrolled in East Carolina Teachers College upon graduating high school in 1923. She completed the normal course of study in 1925. During her time on campus, she was a member of the Poe Society, the Athletic Association, the track team, and the baseball club. A natural leader, she also served as a proctor and was secretary and treasurer of the Bertie County Club.
White spent her entire professional career in the field of education. She began her profession in the Roanoke Rapids (NC) Public Schools system, before requesting a one year leave of absence to return to East Carolina to pursue a M.A. degree. Upon her return to East Carolina in 1937, she was assigned as a dormitory counselor or matron for Fleming Hall. Later, she was appointed Assistant Dean of Women, and in 1951, she became the Dean of Women, a rank held until her retirement.
While in Greenville, White was a member of the Memorial Baptist Church, where she served as a Bible study group leader, a Sunday school teacher, and a youth group advisor. White has been recognized by numerous local educational and community organizations for her untiring service and dedication to East Carolina University.
With a generous spirit, White held memberships in the North Carolina Education Association, the National Education Association, North Carolina Association of Women’s Deans and Counselors, National Association of Women Deans and Counselors, American Association of University Women, Delta Kappa Gamma, Kappa Delta Pi, Pilot Club of Greenville, Greenville Business Club, and Professional Women’s Club.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, four larger and taller women’s dorms were completed on East Carolina’s campus. On November 9, 1969, a ten-story girl’s residence hall was dedicated in honor of Ruth Allen White. Miss White retired in July 1969 after thirty-two years of service to public education. Jenkins chose this dormitory to honor Miss White because she was the retiring Dean of Women. The portrait of Miss White, which hangs in the dorm, was unveiled by her niece, Anna Ruth Grady, and Chancellor and Mrs. Leo W. Jenkins.