Alumni Family Holds Festival In Memory Of Beloved Professor
Remembered as one whose “enthusiasm for the past enlivened her love for the present,” Margaret Sittler Ermarth ’30, late professor of history, mentor and friend, inspired her students and colleagues so much that they actually penned poems about her, including: “Teacher who walked across our lives, Shaped our deeds with careful loving hands, Mapped paths through tangled minds,” (“Mentor” by Robert Hartje ’78).
Ermarth also inspired her family, including her son Fritz W. Ermarth ’61, who hosted a centennial celebration in memory of his mother last fall. The event brought together fellow family members, friends and alumni whose lives were enriched by her warmth, values and integrity.
The first-ever Alumni Association for Distinguished Teaching Award recipient in 1961, Ermarth went on to earn numerous other recognitions including Wittenberg’s top alumni prize, the Class of 1914 Meritorious Service Award in 1972, and the university’s prestigious Wittenberg Medal of Honor in 1977. Author of Adam’s Fractured Rib, which discussed the role of women in the Lutheran Church in America, Ermarth also served on the Wittenberg Board of Directors after her retirement in 1974, and she received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Gustavus College, where she taught before joining the faculty at Wittenberg.
Today at her alma mater, her memory continues to live on as an outstanding senior history major is presented the Margaret S. Ermarth Award at the Annual Honors Convocation.