Allan Ruter ’76 accepts Leadership and Service Award
Allan Ruter, member of the Class of 1976, today Cornell College recognizes your service to the field of education, your deep community involvement, and your dedication to your alma mater.
You came to Cornell from your family’s farm near Wellsburg, Iowa, as a William Fletcher King Scholar. You became president of the student body and editor of The Cornellian, for which you received Associated College Press All-American honors. After earning your degree in English and history, you moved to the Chicago area. Your first stop was at Lake Forest College where you worked in the student affairs office, and then on to Northwestern University, where you earned master’s degrees in teaching and in English literature.
You spent the next 30 years at The Glenbrook High Schools, in Glenview and Northbrook, Illinois, where you taught English, history, and American Studies. Your leadership positions included director of the Glenbrook Academy of International Studies and assistant instructional supervisor of English. For the National Council of Teachers of English you served as a member of its Commission on Literature and frequent presenter at its conferences and conventions.
In addition, you received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council for Basic Education, and the Gilder-Lehman Institute of American History. You were recognized in your profession by inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers; and more recently, for Who’s Who in America.
In 2014, you founded the College Essay Clinic, which has supported hundreds of college applicants in their writing process.
Your list of civic engagement and contributions is equally robust. You served as senior development associate for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. You are a trustee of the Glenview Public Library and a member of the board of directors of The Night Ministry, a nonprofit group providing housing and health care to Chicagoans. You have served on numerous boards and committees in your town of Glenview, Illinois, and are active in your church in leadership and teaching roles.
We are grateful for your service to your alma mater over many years. You served on the Board of Trustees as a Young Trustee, and on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2001-2012, including as president from 2009-2011. You have also acted as class agent.
Allan, through your work as an educator, a scholar, and as an engaged citizen, you have honored all of us in the Cornell family. In closing, we salute you with words you’ve spoken often during your career, the words your Cornell advisor and mentor, Professor Geneva Meers, said as you left the Hilltop to begin your teaching career: “Remember, the third best thing a student can say about you is that you’re friendly. The second best is that you’re fair. The very best thing is that you’re hard!”
On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the entire Cornell community, we present you with the Leadership and Service Award.
Allan J. Ruter ’76 is an educator with a deep commitment to his profession and his community. He holds master’s degrees in teaching and in English literature from Northwestern University. Ruter spent 30 years at The Glenbrook (IL) Schools, where he taught English, history, and American studies. He was actively involved outside of the classroom in leadership roles at his schools, and served his profession as a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Commission on Literature. Ruter’s service to Cornell includes roles as Young Trustee, Alumni Association Board president, and class agent. Ruter was included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers; and more recently, in Who’s Who in America. In 2014 he founded the College Essay Clinic, which has helped hundreds of college applicants with their writing process. He served as senior development associate for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, as a trustee of the Glenview Public Library, and as a member of the board of directors of The Night Ministry, a Chicago non-profit.