The BAC Remembers Ruth Ganong’s Legacy

First woman to attend the BAC paved way for gender equality

Ruth stands with portrait of Arcangelo Cascieri, 2010

The Boston Architectural College remembers the legacy of Ruth Ganong ‘54, the first woman to graduate from the BAC. Ruth passed away peacefully on December 22, 2015, in Albany, California, at the age of 91.

After graduating from Smith College with a major in architecture, Ruth continued to pursue her dream of becoming an architect, a dream she held since she was just six years old. She passed the entrance examination to the Boston Architectural Center, now the Boston Architectural College, and was welcomed into its supportive community, male dominated at the time.

Through her hard work and perseverance, she became the first woman to complete a five-year architectural curriculum at the BAC. In a time when most women did not pursue professional degrees, Ruth took a path less travelled. Her diligence helped pave the way for future gender equality and still serves today as a model for students to be innovators and to never stop pursuing their dreams.

During her time at the BAC, Ruth made strong and long lasting connections. Arcangelo Cascieri, Chairman of the BAC Educational Committee at the time, was especially supportive and kind, which helped her succeed in the BAC's rigorous environment. They remained close long after Ruth moved to California right after graduating in 1954.

Ruth went on to dedicate her life to public service, serving in many roles including as Albany School Board President, Mayor of Albany, and on the Boards of the Albany YMCA and AC Transit where she served one term as president. She was involved for many years in protecting San Francisco Bay and improving education in Albany.

In 2010, the BAC awarded Ruth an Honorary Degree, a Doctor of Public Service. In a City of Albany Proclamation congratulating Ruth on the honor, Ruth credits her education at the BAC for giving her the analytical skills and discipline to succeed in any attempted endeavor.

Please join us in celebrating Ruth Ganong's legacy. To read Ruth's obituary, please click here.