MacArthur Fellows Program

Kathleen A. Ross

Educator | Class of 1997

Toppenish, Washington
56 at time of award
Area of Focus
Education and Training
Published July 1, 1997

Kathleen Ross is an educator whose leadership and vision present a model of innovation in higher education.

Ross is the President and co-founder of Heritage College, a private, liberal arts college located in the Yakima Valley of Washington State.  Among the unusual features of Heritage College are its demographics: sixty percent of the students fall below the poverty line.  The vast majority of students are the first in their families to pursue higher education.  Approximately half of the students are drawn from the minority population, about a two-fold higher percentage than the overall minority population of the state.  The college, which offers nineteen undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree majors, enhances the opportunity for graduates to contribute to their communities.  Ross has created a truly multicultural learning institution for students who otherwise would have little reason to dream of acquiring a college education.

Ross has served as the founding president of Heritage College since 1982.  She is a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

Ross received a B.A. (1964) from Fort Wright College, Spokane, Washington, an M.A. from Georgetown University (1972), and a Ph.D. (1979) from the Claremont Graduate School.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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