An active mind matched with boundless energy are the hallmarks of Ruth G. Hardman. As a “hands-on” volunteer, board member or patron, these qualities have allowed Mrs. Hardman to have a dynamic influence on the development of Tulsa.
The daughter of John W. and Vera Chapman Gilliland, Mrs. Hardman was born in Holdenville. The family’s relocation to Tulsa in conjunction with Mr. Gilliland’s business interests brought a young Mrs. Hardman to Tulsa. She would leave only to further her education at Sweet Briar College and the University of Wisconsin. Upon her return, Mrs. Hardman launched herself into a career of volunteer service that continues to this day.
The diversity of Mrs. Hardman’s activities reflects her broad interests. In the field of health and social services, she has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood, Children’s Medical Center, Tulsa Psychiatric Center and the Children’s Day Nursery. Her belief in the primacy of education has led her to a continuing involvement with Holland Hall School, where she serves as an Emeritus Board Member, and the establishment of the Ruth G. Hardman Literacy Program at the Tulsa City/County Library. In Tulsa’s cultural arena, she was a founder of Tulsa Town Hall, a board member for Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, and the Performing Arts Center Endowment Fund.
Mrs. Hardman’s innovative approach to philanthropy has been shared with two institutions in particular. Her endowment of a curatorial chair in European and American Art at Philbrook Museum secures the future of that discipline. And, in an effort to promote her passion for ideas and literature, she is the founder and benefactress of the Hardman/Nimrod Award and Workshops for the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa.
Mrs. Hardman’s qualities of talent, imagination and resourcefulness have formed the dynamic which brings her interests and commitment to the fullest, positive expression.