Ruth Oldham, or “Miss Ruth,” as many students know her, has taken a leave of absence from her role as a food service worker and dining room attendant in the World Famous Bean.
While the family has yet to release details of her condition, ACU dining employees said she was at one point hospitalized due to an infection but do not know whether she has been released or is at home.
Gina Juarez, human resources administrator for ACU dining services, said Oldham hasn’t been able to work in more than a month.
“Her intentions are definitely to come back. The students are her motivation,” Juarez said.
Oldham, 86, has been a full time employee at the Bean for more than 27 years and is well recognized for her service by many students.
“You can tell she really wants to serve the students and has a servant heart,” said Emily Ricker, junior family studies major from Goodletsville, Tenn.
Several years ago, business students sold t-shirts dedicated to her for their Venture Out project. Last week, students signed a banner that was displayed in the Bean, wishing her a quick recover. ACU dining employees will deliver it to her soon.
Every day Oldham would arrive on campus via Abilene CityLink Bus.
“I would always see her coming and going in her wheelchair,” said Aubree Selinger, junior family studies major from Grapevine.
Her main duties included cleaning off tables, attending to the dining room area and serving students in any way she could. She worked about 30 hours a week.
ACU dining employees do not know when she plans to return.