Krause's legacy will last a lifetime

Ruthetta Krause with COB scholars

Ruthetta Krause (third from right) pauses for a photo with some students at the College of Business Honor Day celebration in 2006. Included in the group is Chris Street (front, second from left), a two-time recipient of the Benjamin and Susan Krause Memorial Scholarship.

Ruthetta Krause, who served Indiana State University long and well between the years of 1947 and 1978, died November 21, 2007. She will be sorely missed, according to long-time friend and colleague Dr. Mary Ellen Adams and others who grew to know and love her through the years.

"I have always been impressed with the energy and dedication she brought to her work. Her physical stature was small, but her stature as a teacher was gigantic," said Adams, who began teaching at Indiana State in 1969 and continues to teach post-retirement (2002).

Through Krause’s 31 years at Indiana State, she taught a variety of courses, including typewriting, shorthand, office procedures, secretarial practice, machine transcription, office machines, and others. All prepared students for employment as secretaries and administrative assistants.

"Miss Krause was a unique individual," aid Mark Linton an ISU graduate, now senior marketing manager for South-Western Publishing, a part of Cengage Learning, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Linton earned his bachelor’s (1979) and master’s (1983) degrees in business education at Indiana State and remembers Krause as a "very precise dresser. She dressed as professionally and formally as she taught class. There was no joking around. You stepped in the classroom, and it was time to get down to business and learn professional theory and methodology.

"It was challenging," he added. "She was like a coach who would make you work hard even though you didn’t quite have the energy. But you improved, and you learned the strategy or concept behind what she was teaching. That’s what I took away from her as a teacher."

Many students have said they respected that knowledge, teaching expertise, and adherence to high standards, Adams explained. Some students have even attested to the fact that they did not truly appreciate Krause’s dedication until after they graduated. “Even now, it is not unusual for one of her former students to comment on how much her classes contributed to their personal success," Adams added.

Former student Becky McCabe agrees.

"She was demanding, exacting, and cared for her students, and I did not fully appreciate her when I was in her class, but I later did," said McCabe, now chair of the business department at Terre Haute North Vigo High School. "She expected business standards in all things—behavior, quality of work, productivity levels, and dress. She was a true business professional who modeled that behavior to her students."

During her career at ISU, Krause co-authored two books, Typing Mailable Letters and College English:  Grammar and Style. Both of these books were published by Gregg Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company. She also wrote numerous articles for the magazine published by the Gregg Division, Business Education World, and for Today’s Secretary, a publication of the National Secretaries’ Association. Her article titles such as Paper Checking and Grading: The Student’s Role indicated her concern that students become responsible for the products they produced. Others, such as Make Five Carbon Copies, Please, give insight into some of the challenges in secretarial practice during her career.

"I received my lowest grade in her secretarial procedures class," admits McCabe. "At that time, I was not good with attention to detail (proofreading something well, etc.), and I’d get socked. With Ruthetta, it was either mailable-plus (flawless), mailable (with small number of typos, or not mailable."

"It’s quality that I learned from her and Dr. Adams," Linton explained. "They projected almost a black and white way of doing things—a high standard—and they idn’t accept mediocrity. I feel fortunate that I had my foundation at Indiana State with Ruthetta Krause and with all of the other professionals in the department at the time. It wasn’t always an easy path. You either performed or you didn’t make the grade."

Further evidence of Krause’s dedication to students is the scholarship, the Benjamin and Susan Krause Memorial Scholarship, she established in memory of her parents. Many students with majors in the Business Education, Information, and Technology Program have benefitted from the scholarships made available through Krause’s thoughtfulness.

When her health permitted, Krause came to program and University events. She enjoyed meeting the students who received the scholarships she made possible. Krause also continued her academic interests in the Friends of the Library with the Vigo County Public Library. 

"The Department of Business Education was very close, so it is sad to lose someone like Ruthetta," said Chris Street, a 2005 graduate in business education and business administration who now teaches business at Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. "I met Ruthetta a couple of times (when receiving the scholarship), and she was a very pleasant person. It was always an honor to be rewarded by the various foundations and benefactors, and the scholarships were very helpful financially as well.

"Ruthetta helped start a tradition of quality education at Indiana State University," Street added, "and it continues today through professors such as Dr. Mary Ellen Adams, Dr. Chao, Dr. Wilhelm, and Dr. Wilkinson. I don’t think I could have asked for a better college experience. I think the high expectations from the department made me have high expectations for my students."

ISU, the College of Business and the Business, Education, Information, and Technology Program lost a good friend with the death of Ruthetta Krause. She was an amazing 95 years young.

The comments used in this story are but a sampling of the testimonials about Miss Krause and her impact on students and the University. To share thoughts or stories for later posting to our Web site, contact Maria Greninger, director of external relations for the College of Business. To contribute to the Benjamin and Susan Krause Memorial Scholarship fund, please contact Venus Pierce in the dean’s office at (812) 237-2000 or Give Online.