Skip to main content

Ruth Alice Haas Papers

Identifier: MS 033

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Ruth A. Haas consist of materials that document her education and her career at Danbury State College.

Series 1 contains RAH's education and honorary degrees which consist of The Annual, Watertown High School's 1925 yearbook, where Haas taught history for several years, and Syracuse University's 1922 and 1924 yearbook The Onondagan. Also included are RAH's B. A. and M.S., as well as her master's thesis, and several honorary degrees.

Series 2, 4, 5, and 7 document RAH's appointment as president of Danbury State Teacher's College and inauguration. These series contain invitations, inauguration program, clippings and news releases, and The Inkling, a campus newsletter, which covered the inauguration as well RAH's keynote speech to the 21st Eastern States Association's Conference on March 21-23, 1947. Also included is an autograph letter (signed) addressed to Haas from Eleanor Roosevelt declining an invitation to attend the Conference.

Correspondence from governors and other political figures include John David Lodge, Mrs. Francis W. Cole, Thomas J. Meskill, John Alsop, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., Florence D. Finney, Ruth O. Truex, Robert K. Killian, George E. Steinmetz, Romeo E. Petroni, Ella Grasso, S. McLellan, Henry E. Parker, Nancy Lewinsohn, William R. Baldwin, and Dr. Harvey S. Sadow.

Among RAH's Personal Papers there is an address, Amherstburg, delivered by F.W. Haas, RAH's father, to the members of the Lake Erie and St. Clair Publishers' Association on October 12, 1928. The address, in a small booklet form, was a brief survey of historical Amhertsburg and Old Fort Malden. Other papers in this folder include a copy of her birth certificate, retirement papers, and a farewell letter addressed to her college family dated May 8, 1975, before her retirement.

In 1966, Haas was the first recipient of the Golden Deeds Award presented by the Exchange Club of Danbury for her contribution to higher education in Connecticut. Included among the papers are congratulatory letters and telegrams from family, friends, and business leaders in the community, as well as the program and clippings of the event. Among the many individuals who sent congratulatory letters and cards were Walter Werner, Bert Stroock, Harold Hodgdon, Jr., Howard Holmes, Abe and Bertha Feinson, William H. Flaharty, John Hoffer, Edward Sillari, John Monagan, William Sanders, Abe Ribicoff, Richard Rausch, Fay Overholt, Carl and Ruth Denison, Kathryn Vacha, Max Levy, Mary Swokla, Abe Ribicoff, Frank and Mabel Palermo; Patrick Cahilll; Fritz, Fritzi, and Joseph (RAH's sister and family); and the faculty of DSC.

Correspondence in celebration of Haas' 25th anniversary as president of DSC consist of congratulatory letters from family members, friends, colleagues, local clubs and organizations. Correspondents include Warren G. Hill, Bobbi Pough, Romeo Petroni, William R. Ratchford, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., John S. Monagan, Ella T. Grasso, Thomas J.Meskill, Clark Hull, William J. Sanders, Regina, Dick, Manson Van Jennings, Hilton C. Buley, Herbert D. Welte, Marguerite Paatchen, Chester E. Floyd, Raymond Trimpert, Ernest A. Johnson, Dorothy Hutton Shippee, John Lyman, Hazel D. Tobias, Esther E. Wagner, Fayette L. Overholt, Finis E. Engleman, and John Lyman.

Haas was also honored by the Danbury Chamber of Commerce on her 25th anniversary and was given a silver tray commemorating the event. A copy of the invitation and program for the event are also included. Additional honors came from the House of Representatives when a resolution, presented by John S. Monagan of Connecticut, was passed honoring Haas for her 25 years of service as WCSC president. A copy of the Congressional Record speech as well as a transcript of a WINE salute to Haas by Ron Gleissner on March 9, 1972.

Retirement testimonials and honors includes notes and letters from Daniel J. Flood, Regina M. Duffy, Seymour R. Powers, Owen F. Peagler, Mildred Lucas, Harold P. Splain, Herbert S. Everett, H. B. Schramm, Robert M. Beatty, Leonard J. Kent, Everett I. L. Baker, A. M. Woodruff, Arthur C. Banks, Jr., Louis Rabineau, Richard C. Gurney, Pearl Griska, Clint Walker, Walter J. Conn, Roger B. Bagley, Donald H. McGannon, David Detzer, and Sister Mary Theodore. In addition, two Book of Letters were presented to Haas at her retirement from Colleagues and Friends, and the Alumni Association. Also included is a guest book and program from her testimonial dinner (box 3).

Series 2 also contains minutes of the meetings of state college presidents that cover a number of issues pertaining to the operation of a four-college campus. Topics include administrative issues, budgets, salary schedules, tuition, increased enrollment, course offerings, faculty, and building projects. In addition, this series contains appointment papers of former employees, salaries and yearly budgets from 1949-1973. The bulk of the budgets in this series were created during RAH's tenure as President, but there are also budgets, as well as appointment papers, resignations, and salaries, created by her predecessors. The budgets after WW II reflect DSTC's tremendous growth from a two building college with 125 students to a nine building college campus with a broad liberal arts curriculum with over 5,000 students. Please note that Series 2, Appointment Papers and Resignations, (folders 7-43), are closed to researchers.

Photographs that document special events and anniversaries for Haas are located in Series 4. Included are images of her 25th anniversary celebration in 1972, retirement testimonial in 1975, receiving an honorary degree from Alberta Magnus College is 1973, groundbreaking of Ella Grasso Hall in 1981, and studio portraits for her inauguration. Images also include school faculty, state politicians, and friends at these events.

Series 5 contains two scrapbooks, one of which was created by RAH's sister, Fredericka Haas Batchelor, that contains telegrams, letters, photographs, and newspaper articles of RAH's 1947 inauguration, while the other contains newspaper articles that focus on the tremendous growth of the school from a two building Normal School to a seven building campus under the helm of RAH. Articles include increased enrollment, changes in curriculum and degrees, as well as RAH's 25th anniversary and retirement.

Series 6 contain condolence letters and notes sent to Fredericka Batchelor, niece of RAH, upon her aunt's death as well as the funeral guest book.

Series 7 includes miscellaneous memorabilia such as yearbooks, postcards, plaques, and gavel.


  • Creation: 1922-1987


Access Restrictions

Series 2, Appointment Papers and Resignations, closed to researchers.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
Ruth A. Haas Library
Archives and Special Collections
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: 203-837-8992

Historical/Biographical Note

Ruth Alice Haas was born on March 30, 1903, in Syracuse, New York. She attended schools in Syracuse and Amherstberg, Ontario, Canada, and earned a B.S. in education and a M.A. in political science from Syracuse University. Before coming to Danbury, she taught in Watertown, New York, and in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University

Ruth Haas came to the Danbury Normal School as Dean of Women in 1931. She was appointed President of Danbury State Teachers College in 1946 thus becoming the first woman in the United States to serve as president of a four-year state college.

During her tenure as president, she served as President of the Eastern States Association of Professional Schools for Teachers, President of the Connecticut Council on Higher Education, and President of the New England Association of Teachers Colleges. She also served on the New England Board of Higher Education, the Advisory Council to the Connecticut Commission on Higher Education, and on the State Commission on Cooperation with Federal Authorities in Matters Pertaining to Higher Education.

In Danbury, Ruth Haas served as a Manager and a Trustee of Danbury Hospital, as a Trustee of the Danbury Library, as a Trustee of the Scott-Fanton Museum and as a member of the Bicentennial Commission. She was a recipient of the News Times Civic Achievement Award, the first to receive the Book of Golden Deeds award of the Exchange Club, and received the Liberty Bell Award from the Danbury Bar Association.

Ruth Haas received many honors, awards and citations throughout her career and in 1969 the new library at Western Connecticut State College was named in her honor. She also received honorary degrees from Syracuse University, Rhode Island College, Albertus Magnus College, and the University of Hartford. Ruth Haas died on November 25, 1986.


23.5 Linear Feet (, 16 boxes and 1 OS Folder)

Language of Materials



Ruth Alice Haas (1903-1986) arrived the Danbury Normal School in 1931 to serve as Dean of Women. For fifteen years, she lived in Fairfield Hall as the primary mentor and supervisor for boarding students. Over the years, she assumed more responsibility. In 1946, after President Jenkins’ death, she was the unanimous choice for president. She served as president for twenty-eight years, through times of significant growth and change for the school. These papers contain a cross section of her administrative records and her personal papers.


Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically within each series.

The files are grouped into 7 series:

Missing Title

  1. Education and Honorary Degrees,
  2. Danbury State Teacher's College;
  3. Certificates/Recognitions/Resolutions,
  4. Photographs,
  5. Scrapbooks,
  6. Funeral, and,
  7. Miscellaneous Memorabilia.


Provenance not documented.

General Physical Description note

12 linear feet (12 boxes)

Guide to the Ruth Alice Haas Papers
Unverified Full Draft
Mary Rieke
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
Ruth A. Haas Papers. Doc

Repository Details

Part of the Western Connecticut State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Haas Library
181 White St
Danbury 06810 USA US
203.837.8322 (Fax)