Beulah Ralph (1927 - 2020)
Beulah Ralph was born in Hardin, Missouri, in 1927 and grew up during a time when segregation was mandated by law. She moved to Columbia at an early age, where she was a student and graduate of Douglass High School. In 1945, she attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Mrs. Ralph returned to Douglass High School in 1947 to take a position as a secretary. In 1968, she founded and became the director of the school district’s Home School Visitor program, later known as Home School Communicators. This program, her contribution to Columbia’s civil rights era, was designed to advocate education and opportunity for all. Countless youths and families benefited from her guiding hand, tireless dedication, and high expectations. Mrs. Ralph remained at Douglass High School for 58 years until her retirement in 2005. During her time at Columbia Public Schools, she was an educator, community leader, and mentor.
To honor her years of dedication and service to our schools and community, Columbia Public Schools honored Mrs. Ralph in 2013 with the Beulah Ralph Memorial located in front of Douglass High School. In 2016, Columbia Public Schools opened Beulah Ralph Elementary School.
"If there ever was a person who carried the zeal for fostering individual dignity, racial equality, understanding, peace-making and solving problems through non-violence, it was Beulah Ralph." - Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman (1995 - 2010)
The Family of Beulah Ralph
A History of Public Schools Education in Columbia by Roger A. Gafke
In Loving Memory of Mrs. Beulah Ralph Memorial