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Ruth E. Tappe Scruggs

Born on 8-4-1893. She was born in Lynchburg, VA. She was accomplished in the area of Education. She later died on 7-2-1980.
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Ruth E. Tappe was born on August 4, 1893 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her parents were James and Mary Tappe. At this time, not much is known about her family or her early life. However, she was a graduate of Howard University and became a school teacher. She married a fellow Howard University graduate, Dr. Ivorite L. Scruggs. The Scruggs moved to Buffalo, New York in 1921 and quickly became involved in community building activities in the City.

A member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Ruth Tappe Scruggs was elected Grand Basileus of the Sorority in 1926. She was the 6th President of the organization and the first leader of the Sorority to hold this title. Ruth's husband, Dr. Scruggs was a charter member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Ruth was re-elected to the principal leadership position of her Sorority for four consecutive terms, serving from 1926 to 1930. In 1929, the Sorority held its 10th Boule in Nashville, from December 27th to the 30th. Prior to this conference, the general board held a regional meeting in Buffalo, New York where a special scholarship endowment was initiated. At the December Boule, the members of the Sorority attended sessions exploring the "Finer Womanhood Movement" and "The Relation of the Sorority to the Community."

Under Mrs. Scruggs' leadership, the sorority's membership almost doubled. There were 450 members, in 28 chapters representing 40 states, with one member from West Africa and one from the West Indies. Ruth Tappe Scruggs was a member of Delta Zeta Chapter in Buffalo New York, the 4th graduate chapter to be chartered in the organization. In 1947, a newspaper article noted that she was the guest speaker at the first annual luncheon of Business and Professional Republican Women. Her topic was "Women in the New World".

Ruth was also active in many other organizations, including the Michigan Street YMCA. Her husband was one of the founders of this YMCA and its first Board President. Ruth was also a member of the Niagara Buffalo Chapter of the Links, Inc. She and her husband traveled frequently and both were very active participants in one another's fraternity and sorority events. This made the Scruggs the most visible leaders of their organizations, more than any former leaders during that time.

Ruth died on July 2, 1980. At the time she was living in Detroit. She is buried, with her husband, in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York.