Aug. 26, 2019

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In Memoriam: Dr. Ruth Black

Dr. Ruth Black, former director of the Department of Pastoral Services and UMMC's chaplain for many years, died Friday, Aug. 23.

Black earned her baccalaureate degree at Belhaven University and language certificates at the British Institute in London, England, and the Alliance Francaise in Paris, France. She received her doctorate in psycholinguistics from Harvard University and had a residency in clinical pastoral education at UMMC. She retired from UMMC in 2014 after 30 years of service.

Portrait of Dr Ruth Black

"Ruth contributed immensely to Medical Center life and patient care," said Barbara Austin, director emerita of public affairs. "Our University Hospital would not have its art-filled multi-faith chapel if it were not for her initiative and determination that UMMC needed a true chapel for our patients, students and faculty."

"Ruth was comfortable no matter what the religious persuasion in helping our patients at the Medical Center," said Dr. James Keeton, vice chancellor emeritus for health affairs. "We were so lucky to have her at the helm of our pastoral services department for so many years."

While at UMMC, Black also served as an instructor in psychiatry and human behavior, an assistant professor of medicine and pediatric hematology/oncology and a member of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities faculty. She also had faculty appointments at Millsaps College and Mississippi State University; was a visiting scholar at the Virginia Theological Seminary at Alexandria; was a deacon, curate and priest at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Jackson; and was a priest associate at her original parish, St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson.

Visitation is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson with a memorial service (Requiem Eucharist) to follow at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral and the UMMC Chapel Fund.