Ruth Hennigar: Building on an inspiring personal legacy

As a member of Acadia’s Campaign Cabinet, Ruth Hennigar (’81) likes to lead by example.

She is a sustaining supporter of Acadia, establishing a scholarship for young women in computer science and funding WISE Acadia – Women in Science and Engineering – every year.

More recently, Hennigar established a $1-million bequest to Acadia in her will. “The bequest is to focus on faculty excellence because without great professors and great programs you don’t attract great students,” she says.

One of only a handful of women who studied computer science when personal computers were in their infancy, Hennigar credits Acadia with sparking in her the skills and confidence to succeed. Her career as an engineering and product management executive spanned start-ups and Fortune 500 companies including Apple, eBay, Motorola/Google and Sun/Java.

Helping others

“Acadia helped me to develop the confidence that brought me to where I am now,” she adds. “So it really is about this: don’t you want to help someone else?”

Hennigar, who served as a Campaign for Acadia Cabinet member, will be reaching out to her Jodrey School of Computer Science network to garner support for a computer science scholarship drive.

“I hope to help them see how they can change the trajectory of someone’s decision to come to Acadia and participate in the industry when they graduate,” she says. “I’d like to get folks thinking not only about a big gift today, which is always nice, but an ongoing giving plan and perhaps putting Acadia in their estate plan. Many campaigns get interest in the moment, but we need to sustain that interest and ongoing engagement with our alumni.”

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