News & Events

“An Evening with Dr. Ruth”
Dr. Ruth

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

November 29, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Noted psychosexual therapist, syndicated television hostess, and author of over 31 books addressing sexual and familial health Dr. Ruth Westheimer will deliver the keynote address of Illinois Wesleyan University Student Senate’s Discovering a New You Week.  Westheimer’s talk, titled “An Evening with Dr. Ruth,” will take place on Monday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington). 

Both the address and the book signing to follow are free and open to the public. 

Westheimer’s extensive career studying sexuality and promoting what she has dubbed “sexual literacy” was inspired by her formal education in sociology and family studies and her early work for Planned Parenthood.  After earning a doctorate of education in the Interdisciplinary Study of the Family from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, Westheimer furthered her knowledge of human sexuality through her study with the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center.

These experiences and her pioneering work in media psychology helped rocket Westheimer to public attention, first through her fifteen-minute taped radio program Sexually Speaking and then through the live, one-hour call-in format television program that helped her achieve the status of a pop-culture icon.  She has worked in print and broadcast to remove the stigma from public discussion of subjects such as the link between sex and media, women’s health issues, condom use, and relationships.

Born in Germany in 1928, Westheimer’s life has spanned the globe: at 10 she was sent to Switzerland among a group of German-Jewish youths raised together at a children’s home, at 17 she went to Israel and served in the fight for the country’s independence, her university education began in Paris where she also taught kindergarten, finally immigrating to the U.S. in 1956 to begin her graduate studies.   

Westheimer has been recognized internationally for her work in both psychology and media, receiving the Liberty Medal from the City of New York, an Ace Award for excellence in cable television, a Gold Medal from the International Film and TV Festival for excellence in educational television, an Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College – Institute of Religion.  She is currently an adjunct professor at New York University and a Fellow of Calhoun College at Yale University, the New York Academy of Medicine, and of Butler College at Princeton University.  

For additional information, please contact Student Senate’s Student Welfare and Human Relations Commissioner Andrea Ambrosia at (309) 556-1371 or by email (aambrosi@iwu.edu).

Contact: Renee K. Scherer, (309) 556-3181