“Ruth Ann Minner’s incredible story of determination and achievement is certain to capture the imagination of Bethany’s senior women as they prepare to leave our campus and use their talents to benefit society,” stated Scott D. Miller, President of Bethany College. “Her presence is the perfect way to honor the strength and incredible potential of the females who represent the excellence of Bethany College.”
Minner confronted many challenges during her early years as a Delaware native. She dropped out of high school when she was 16 years old to help support her family and was later widowed and left to raise three children on her own. Working multiple jobs as a single mother, Minner went on to earn her GED and attended Delaware Technical and Community College. She later re-married and, with her husband, operated a towing business.
Minner’s rise in politics began with her appointment as clerk in the Delaware House of Representatives and as a receptionist in the governor’s office. She was elected to the State House in 1974, where she served four terms. She worked as House Majority Whip and chair of the Bond Bill Committee, as well as chair of the Rules Committee.
Minner was elected to the Delaware Senate in 1982 and served there until 1992, when she was elected Lieutenant Governor of Delaware. She held the office from 1993-2001, when she reached the pinnacle of her political career and became the first woman ever to be elected governor in Delaware. She also served as first female president of the Council of State Governments in 2005.
She is well-known for her work to decrease cancer rates in Delaware and for her commitment to education. A Democrat, she is also noted for her bipartisan leadership style.
Minner lives on a farm in Milford, Del., and enjoys being a grandmother to seven grandchildren, a great-granddaughter and two step-great-grandsons. Emily Jump, her granddaughter, is a freshman at Bethany.
Sponsored by the Panhellenic Council at Bethany College, the Darline Nicholson May Morning Breakfast dates back to 1947. In addition to Minner’s address, highlighting the program will be the presentation of the Aleece C. Gresham Award. This prize is given to a senior woman who has exhibited sound academic accomplishment, participated in and displayed leadership in a variety of co-curricular activities and shown dedication and commitment to the College.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.