Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler led with her heart. She was an icon for our city. With a genuine, humble demeanor and a warm elegance second to none, Ruth dedicated her life to building a path for numerous nonprofits and civic causes in Dallas.
For Southwestern Medical Foundation, Ruth was a trusted advisor, partner, and a beloved ambassador who never stopped illuminating the value of investing in our medical community. Ruth was the 1995 recipient of The Sprague Award, one of the most prestigious philanthropy in health care awards in North Texas. She was a Foundation Trustee from 1981 until 2011, and led and served on many committees including the Scholarship Committee, Public Affairs Committee, and Executive Committee. She became an Honorary Trustee in 2011, and served an integral role on the 75th Anniversary Steering Committee.
“Ruth was a remarkable woman and I already miss her wisdom, her friendship, her counsel and her deep insight.”
Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation
In addition, Ruth played a leadership role in fundraising for UT Southwestern, participating in two key campaigns: The Innovations in Medicine campaign, which ultimately raised $772 million and enabled UT Southwestern to lead the way into a new era of scientific discovery and delivery of medical care; and the Campaign for the Brain, which is helping UT Southwestern maintain its global leadership in brain research and treatment of brain illness.
“In just 75 years, the early vision and hard work has indeed created a shining medical city,” said Ruth at Southwestern Medical Foundation’s anniversary celebration. “Generosity and conviction to a noble cause have driven its success. As I reflect on what was and what is now, it has been an exceptional story to witness and to play a part.”
As we spend time reflecting on all the ways she championed the work of Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center, we also look back at Ruth’s legacy of generous financial support with tremendous gratitude. Ruth and her husband, Ken Altshuler, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern, established two key psychiatry-related funds at the Medical Center.
The Ruth & Ken Altshuler Fund for Clinical Psychiatry in Honor of Dr. Eric Nestler supports operational costs at UT Southwestern such as salaries of key psychiatry specialists and life-saving clinical programs. The Kenneth Z. Altshuler Fund for Psychiatric Education pushes innovation forward, by increasing exposure of outstanding psychiatric scientists to department faculty, residents, staff and community physicians.
“Ruth was a remarkable woman and I already miss her wisdom, her friendship, her counsel and her deep insight,” said Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Her impact lives on in each of our team – she will always be a beautiful inspiration and a reminder of the power of good.”