Ruby Diamond: 1905 Graduate of Florida State College and Philanthropist

In honor of Women’s History Month, please enjoy this post about Ruby Diamond, originally published on March 18, 2013 by Gina Woodward.

From Ruby Diamond Family Papers, 2007-037, Box 1, Folder 11.
From Ruby Diamond Family Papers, 2007-037, Box 1, Folder 11.

Ruby Diamond was born in Tallahassee on September 1, 1886. She was one of thirteen members of the Florida State College’s 1905 graduating class and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry. Ms. Diamond preferred that her wealth help those in need, and she contributed to many charities in Tallahassee and across Florida and was a generous donor to more than thirty-seven organizations.

Ms. Diamond was also a political activist and fought for lower taxes and racial equality. She and her brother Sydney, along with other members of the Jewish community, founded Temple Israel in 1937.

Ms. Diamond and her collection of snuff bottles. Ruby Diamond Family Papers, 2007-037, Box 1, Folder 11.
Ms. Diamond and her collection of snuff bottles. Ruby Diamond Family Papers, 2007-037, Box 1, Folder 11.

Ms. Diamond was a generous benefactor to Florida State University and established two scholarships for disadvantaged scholars. She supported the Alumni Association and the Department of Educational Research, Development, and Foundations.

In 1970, for her contributions to the university, Florida State University expressed its appreciation to Ms. Diamond by naming its largest auditorium, located inside the Westcott Building, in her honor. In 1971, she donated property in Tallahassee worth $100,000 to the university, and at age 95 in 1981, she donated downtown property assessed at more than $100,000 to partially fund an endowed chair of “national excellence” in the College of Education. In 2010, the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall was reopened after a $38 million renovation.

Ms. Diamond was 93 when this picture was taken.  From Ruby Diamond Family Papers, 2007-037, Box 1, Folder 14.
Ms. Diamond was 93 when this picture was taken. From Ruby Diamond Family Papers, 2007-037, Box 1, Folder 14.

The Ruby Diamond Family Papers in our collection include family photographs, correspondence between Ms. Diamond and her friends and cousins, genealogical materials, news clippings about the Diamond family, and her eulogy. The materials in the collection also contain information about the history of Tallahassee and Florida State University.

One thought on “Ruby Diamond: 1905 Graduate of Florida State College and Philanthropist

  1. Since I was a student at FSU, I’ve wanted to know more about Ruby Diamond! Except for the 1886 part, we share a Sept.1st birthday. I always told my husband, who is also an FSU alum, if we had a little girl, I wanted to name her Ruby Diamond! Too bad we had boys. Thanks for the information. She sounds like a very kind and generous woman.

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