Cook Music Library

Ruth E. Thompson Friends of Music Scholarship

Ruth E. Thompson was born in 1915. Her mother was a math teacher and her father was a veterinarian who later operated the A.J. Thompson Mill in Ellettsville. He died when Ruth was 7 due to an accident at the mill. Her mother took over the operation of the mill until it had to close due to the Depression.

The family moved to Bloomington where Ruth graduated from Bloomington High School in the early 1930's. She attended IU and graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1938. After graduation, she worked in Greencastle, then in New Castle as Head Nutritionist at the State Hospital. Upon retirement, she returned to Bloomington to the house where her family had lived.

Ruth was an accomplished harpist, having played at IU while she was a student. Apart from music, her interests included the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, her friends, and traveling. She had traveled all over the world, going back to several of the places she most enjoyed.

She enrolled in Meals on Wheels after a fall where she met the husband of then-President of the Society of the Friends of Music who was volunteering for MOW. When she mentioned that she could no longer attends concerts, he gave her his card and offered to take her whenever she wanted to go.

Her harp, in addition to part of her estate, was donated to the Jacobs School of Music after her passing. The Jacobs School is honored to award the Ruth E. Thompson Friends of Music Scholarship to talented young students at the Jacobs School.