Cap and Gown has lost two longtime members and supporters of Cap and Gown, Ruth Waters ’55 and Judith Kays ’57 ’59. We want to honor them by sharing with you about their lives and their legacy. Their dedication to the arts and education showed tremendous leadership and impact in their communities. I was grateful to have met each of them and appreciate their support of Cap and Gown.
Ruth Waters (Ruth Ellen Jahnke), ’55 Communication, was an accomplished Bay Area artist and community builder who was dedicated to supporting the professional development of other artists. She spent the last 45 years of her life helping others connect to art, especially by building spaces where artists could share their work, most notably the Peninsula Museum of Art and the Peninsula Art Foundation in San Mateo, CA. Up until her death at age 88 from a fall in June, 2022, she had been very active, still playing tennis, carving hardwood sculptures, and setting up art exhibitions. Her work was exhibited across the country and overseas. For over sixty years, she consistently supported Cap and Gown and attended local Cap and Gown events. I met Ruth at the 110th anniversary of Cap and Gown event at Michelle Galloway’s home, where she inspired me to visit her studio and other artists’ studios at the Peninsula Museum of Art. The museum is a testament to her leadership and dedication to supporting women in the arts.
Judith Kays (Judith Gretchen Scholtz), ’57 Art ’59 Education, was a gifted artist, specializing in figure drawing, and had a lifelong career as an art educator, art consultant, a curator, and a scholar. She had degrees in Art History and Education, both from Stanford, and an MFA in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University. She was a scholar of the artist Mark Tobey and curated an exhibit of Tobey’s work at Stanford’s Cantor Art Center. She served as a docent and educator for the Palo Alto Cultural Center and was known for her lecture series called “Learning to See.” She served as a consultant and advisor for international exhibitions, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Museo Nacional Central de Arte Reina Sophia in Madrid. Judith died at age 86 in September, 2021, after a year-long battle with cancer. Judith was a loyal supporter of Cap and Gown and rarely missed a Spring Brunch. I had the privilege of attending one of her lectures and visiting with her on campus during the past few years. She stood out as an accomplished, warm, gracious, and uplifting individual.