The League of Women Voters Education Fund is honored to have received a generous contribution from League member Walter Shur, of Pittsboro, North Carolina, to create and endow the Ruth S. Shur Leadership Institute. The Institute will develop and sustain a “national coaching team” that will support and strengthen emerging League leadership, membership recruitment and League visibility and best practices. Mr. Shur has made this extraordinary gift to honor the memory of his beloved wife Ruth S. Shur, a longtime League member and leader.
Ruth joined the LWV- Port Washington-Manhasset of New York in 1963 and became its President in 1974. From 1974 to 1976 she served on the board of LWV- Nassau County and, from 1977 to 1989 on the NY State Board. She specialized in the areas of government, election law and the judicial system, and was the editor of the State Voter from 1977 to 1981. The Shurs moved from Port Washington to Pittsboro, N.C. in 2007, where Ruth joined the LWV- Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties, and was active in many local causes. While known and loved well by all the League members she worked with, she is known in wider League circles for having penned the lyrics to the League song created especially for our 70th anniversary— and now a Convention standard—The League of Women Voters: Our Pride and Passion.
Members of the League’s national coaching team will be called Ruth S. Shur Fellows. Ten to twelve Fellows will be selected by an invitation/ application process in the first year, with the aim to increase the team’s size in future years. (Information about the application process will be forthcoming. Direct immediate questions to LWVUS staff member Cheryl Graeve at email@example.com.) Shur Fellows will receive intensive face-to-face training through the Institute, which will be led annually by key League leaders and staff. The training will launch a term of at least two years of service during which each Fellow will work with two state Leagues to strengthen emerging leadership; coach on League basics and best practices in raising visibility and membership recruitment; and, support state level coaching teams, who in turn will help local Leagues institute successful visibility, leadership development and membership growth practices.
The Ruth S. Shur Leadership Institute will be launched in early spring 2010 with its first training session. An additional session will take place on June 10, 2010, in conjunction with the League’s National Convention in Atlanta, GA. At Convention, the life of Ruth S. Shur will be celebrated as we formally honor Mr. Shur for the generous gift he has made as a legacy of Ruth’s dedicated service to the League.