A portrait unveiling at the Foundation Room of the University Center recently revealed the image of the current chair of the University of Chattanooga Foundation Board of Trustees, Ruth Sulzberger Holmberg. Holmberg, former publisher of the Chattanooga Times and granddaughter of Chattanooga Times publisher Adolph Ochs, holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has served as chair of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Education Foundation, as vice president of the Chattanooga Community Foundation, and she was appointed to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
Among her goals as chair of the UC Foundation, Holmberg said “I would like for the entire board to feel involved in the progress of the University. I would like for the board to be more and more representative of the student body.”
Known for her philanthropic work in the arts, Holmberg is a founding member of the Tennessee Arts Commission. She served as chair of the Public Education Foundation, a director of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Association, and chair of the Hunter Museum of Art board of directors. Her board leadership is extensive, with membership on the boards of the Chattanooga Community Foundation, RiverCity Partners, and the Tennessee Aquarium.
Holmberg is chairing the UC Foundation during an unprecedented time as the nation struggles to recover from the financial downturn, and she is sensitive to the needs of the University and higher education.
“Private giving to higher education is increasingly important as public monies are shrinking. Private contributions have always been essential, but now more than ever,” Holmberg said.
In Chattanooga, Holmberg holds the distinction of being the first woman to head a major Chattanooga business, to serve as president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and to serve as president of the Chattanooga Symphony Association. She is also the first woman to chair the UC Foundation.
“I was honored to be asked to chair the Foundation and hope and expect that other women will follow me in this role,” Holmberg said.