Wright-Patt engineering ‘trailblazer’ leaves $1.3M to Oakwood schools group

The Oakwood Schools Foundation has received a $1.3 million gift, one of the largest legacy gifts in the organization’s 40-year history.

The gift comes from the estate of Ruth Herman, according to the foundation. Herman was a 1947 Oakwood High School graduate and a former senior electronic engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Described in her obituary as “one of the top women at WPAFB,” Herman won several awards for her research and was “a true trailblazer for women in engineering,” the foundation said in the announcement.

“Oakwood Schools Foundation is profoundly grateful for Ruth’s generous gift that she entrusted to the care of the Foundation,” Oakwood Schools Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Chris Conard said in the announcement.

“Her loving legacy will be remembered forever in Oakwood schools,” he added.

Herman left her gift “undesignated,” giving the OSF flexiblility in how it can be used, according to the organization.

Herman’s passion for Oakwood schools led her to become an Oakwood Dream Builder, a group of Oakwood alumni and friends who have made a legacy commitment to the foundation through their wills or other planned gifts, according to the group.

Herman earned a bachelor’s degree mathematics and physics from Wittenberg University and did graduate work in engineering at The Ohio State University.

She was a senior electronic engineer in the Support Technology Division, Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory at Wright-Patterson, working in the diagnosis of faults in electronic circuits.

Herman was a recipient of the Scientific Research Society of America Research Award; the S.D. Heron Award from the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory; the Patricia Kayes Glass Award for Outstanding Women Scientist and Engineers; and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for Scientific Achievement from the Department of the Air Force.

Herman was also nominated by the Air Force for the Federal Women’s Award.

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