Honoring the Life of Dr. Ruby Gourdine

The Howard University School of Social Work family honors the life of Dr. Ruby Gourdine, long-time faculty member, beloved professor, and social work pioneer.

The Howard University family is saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Ruby M. Gourdine, professor of social work and National Association of Social Work Pioneer. Dr. Gourdine was an extraordinary member of the faculty, serving almost 30 years (1992-2022). 

Memorial Tribute

On March 25th, 2022, HUSSW hosted a Memorial Tribute event in honor of Dr. Gourdine's legacy of social work and scholarship. A recording of the event can now be found on Youtube by clicking this link

The Social Work Endowed Lectureship Fund

To support Dr. Gourdine's legacy, please use this link to make a donation in her honor. Please designate as Other - Social Work Endowed Lectureship Fund E300144-FD204. We will also accept monetary donations for the fund that will sponsor an annual Black Perspective lecture. This fund is also open for donations in honor of other faculty members.

Past Services

On Friday, February 25th, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the late Dr. Ruby M. Gourdine gathered at her place of worship; Metropolitan AME Church, located at 1518 M St NW, Washington, DC 20005 for the viewing at 10:00 a.m., followed by a celebration of her life at 11:00 a.m. The service was handled by McQuire Funeral Service in Washington, DC. The service was open to all. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the School of Social Work or The Metropolitan AME Social Justice Fund. For those wishing to donate to the School of Social Work, please use the this link and designate In Memory of Dr. Ruby Gourdine. 

On Friday, March 25th, at 3:00 p.m., the Howard University School of Social Work hosted a special program celebrating her legacy and contributions to social work in our auditorium.

Gallery of Dr. Ruby Gourdine Through the Years

Brief Profile of a Career of Scholarship and Service

Dr. Ruby Morton Gourdine graduated from Howard University in 1969 with a BA in sociology and a minor in psychology. She completed her MSW degree from Atlanta University in 1975 and had an exemplary social work practice career.  She returned to Howard and earned her Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree in 1984.  After a distinguished career, she returned to Howard and was appointed as assistant professor in 1992. She was also appointed as Director of Field Education, a position she held from 1992-2008. Dr. Gourdine was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and to professor in 2008. She was also a NASW Social Work Pioneer.

Dr. Gourdine served in numerous leadership positions including chair of Direct Practice; Chair of Appointments, Promotions and Tenure committee; Chair of Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, Chair of 75th Anniversary Celebration for the School of Social Work and Scholar Coach for the New Faculty Development Program. Dr. Gourdine had numerous publications and research grants.  Among her proudest accomplishments was the book on the history of Howard School of Social Work in the 1970s and serving as co-editor of special edition of the Phylon in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Clark Atlanta School of Social Work. Dr. Gourdine was an extraordinary mentor, and she has passed the baton to numerous PhD students to take on her legacy as a social justice warrior for Social Work Education.

Dr. Gourdine was a staunch supporter of Black History and reminded everyone of the importance of knowing and acknowledging Black History.  She was also a collector of Black History art and other memorabilia.

Before joining Howard as a professor, Dr. Gourdine practiced in numerous agencies including the District of Columbia Public Schools; Visiting Nurses Association, Department of Human Services, Pierce-Warwick Adoption Agency, Roxbury Children’s Service, Dorchester, MA, Richmond Department of Welfare, Richmond, VA; Richmond Juvenile Court, Richmond, VA.

Dr. Ruby Gourdine Interviewed on GrandStories Podcast

In May 2021, the Howard University Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center had the honor of interviewing Dr. Gourdine for Episode 7 of their podcast, "GrandStories: Profiles in Aging." Listen to the interview now to hear more about Dr. Gourdine's life, career, and beliefs about social justice issues and the role of social work in addressing these challenges. 

Listen Now