Dr. Ruth Bass, former chair of the Department of Art and Music, passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. For 55 years, Dr. Bass taught thousands of students and served as Art and Music Chair for a quarter of a century. During that time, she grew the Department’s programs and faculty as she revitalized cultural activities across the campus. Along the way, Dr. Bass shattered glass ceilings as the first woman to be chair of the Committee on Governance and Elections and the first woman chair of the Senate, a position she held for over a dozen years.

Dr. Bass is also remembered for being constantly availability to advise students and faculty with her long institutional memory and a strong sense of justice.

On this page honoring the life of Dr. Bass, you can read more about her legacy and keep that legacy alive by contributing to the scholarship fund she started for Art and Music students that now bears her name as well as that of her late husband. You are also invited to share your thoughts and memories of a great friend of Bronx Community College.

Contribute to the Dr. Ruth Bass Scholarship Fund

Sometimes words are not enough. However, when those words reflect how you felt about a person, they can cover many ground-based contributions of the individual.

Dr. Bass was a trailblazer always looking out for the students, listening, and always took the path that would benefit them. Dr. Bass worked very hard to make things happen. I took my cues from her.

After almost 28 years at BCC, I got to know some of the woman behind the veil, her moods, and our casual talks about many topics on the phone–especially catalog orders for clothes 🙂

I will always remember her tireless, steady, dedicated leadership, guidance, and, reprimand when necessary.

She fought a good fight.

To paraphrase, Ecclesiastes 9:11, “… the race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end.” That was Dr. Bass for 55 years.

Rest in peace, Dr. Bass!
Menuha bashlom lankava!

-Loretta Holkmann-Reid

Share your thoughts & memories of
Dr. Ruth Bass

    Rest In Peace Ruth you are truly loved and cared ♥️♥️♥️ – Iasia Means

    I am extremely fortunate to have worked for Dr. Bass teaching Art History.

    She taught me the importance of all the students in the class not just the ones who sat at the front.

    Her dedication to the students is a continuing inspiration. – Gerard McCarthy

    Dr. Bass believed in the Mission of BCC and would help anyone she could, student faculty and staff. Dr. Bass always stood up for what was right without hesitation.
    I was very fortunate in that Dr. Bass was a Mentor to me throughout the years.
    It was a privilege to work with Dr. Bass, and an Honor to say she was a dear friend. Miss you Dr. Bass… always will.
    – Michele Siegel

    Thank you, Dr. Bass, for paving the way. – Rebeca Araya

    Thank you for the invitation to attend this tribute. I am honored to be included. – Susan Fiore

    In Loving Memory of Dr. Ruth Bass. I remember I took her painting class. Much respect & honor. She will be missed. Great & pleasant person to be around. God bless her. – J. Francis

    Dearest Dr. Bass,
    I was very fortunate to have met you. Thank you so much for all the support and generosity that you gave me.
    Stay in peace, stay in power. – Patricia Cazorla

    Dr. Bass was a phenomenal woman, a trailblazer and staunch advocate for students, as well as her colleagues. There are so many lessons to learn through the way she lived her life in service to others. My hope is that we have learned greatly from her and build on the legacy she left us. Thank you Dr. Bass. You will truly be missed. – Angela Wambugu Cobb

    Dr. Bass was a remarkable lady. She spoke her mind with candor and conviction. Her love and dedication to the college was evident in all she did and her accomplishments will continue to inspire others.
    May she be at peace – Kay Ellis

    I am very thankful to Dr. Bass for providing her wisdom in helping me restructure our internship program. Ruth always believed in our students knowing that they could have a brighter future through education and good work ethics. Ruth will be truly missed! – Clement Drummond

    Dr. Bass was incredibly generous and always very supportive. I will miss her spirit and kindness. – Jen Noona

    Ruth showed great generosity towards me when I first arrived as junior faculty at BCC. Even though I was in a different department, she shared resources from her Dept. of Cultural Affairs grants, and helped me to produce guest dance concerts at BCC, and to bring live music into dance classes. Later on when I became a Dept Chair, she showed the same generosity by sharing her experience and expertise. Although we sometimes disagreed, I could always have meaningful heart to heart talks with Ruth. She was a true friend, and a true inspiration. – Sue Moss

    Ruth was an awesome soul. She treated everyone fairly and never wanted to see anyone being taken advantage of. She was very passionate about BCC and her special role as an leader, mentor, educator and colleague/friend. Miss her presence on this earth heaps and will always remember all that she did to make this world a better place for all!!! – Neal Phillip

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