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College of Human Ecology
Cornell University
Faculty Biographies


Ruby Green Smith (1878 - 1960) was born in Indiana and received her B.A. at Stanford University in 1902. She continued her studies and became a research instructor in Entomology and Bionomics, completing her M.A. in 1904. In 1908, Smith co-authored Inheritance in Silkworms with the famous Stanford biologist Vernon Kellogg, who studied evolution in insects. She then came to Ithaca, received her Ph.D. from Cornell in 1914, and promptly began a long and laudable career in extension. From 1919 to 1923, she moved from assistant to associate state leader of home demonstration agents, and finally became the state leader, as well as a professor in extension. She was at one time the assistant director of the Conservation Division of the New York State Food Commission and worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Smith worked in extension until her retirement in 1944. In addition to writing a history of extension, she also started the Cayuga Bird Club, Ithaca Housewives' League, and Farmers' Market. Affectionately known as "Aunt Ruby" to most people in extension and in the College of Home Economics, Smith is best known as the author of the Home Bureau Creed, 500,000 copies of which were published and distributed nationwide. The creed reads as follows.

To maintain the highest ideals of home life; to count children the most important of crops; to so mother them that their bodies may be sound, their minds clear, their spirits happy, and their characters generous:

To place service above comfort; to let loyalty to high purpose silence discordant notes; to let neighborliness supplant hatreds; to be discouraged never:

To lose self in generous enthusiasms; to extend to the less fortunate a helping hand; to believe one's community may become the best of communities; and to cooperate with others for the common ends of a more abundant home and community life;

This is the offer of the Home Bureau to the homemaker of today.



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