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Alumni Feature 1

Betty Gephart Frey, Class of 1937

Teacher and Literary Pioneer

Betty Frey

A dedicated teacher, Betty Gephart Frey has devoted her life to instilling in others her love of reading. She has touched thousands of lives across the United States and in other countries by teaching people to read and by training others as literacy tutors.

After graduating from Marietta College in 1937, Frey taught voice at the Ohio State University and later received a Master of Education degree from the University of Arizona. In 1961, she founded a group that became the Literacy Volunteers of Tucson Arizona, an organization that has grown into 20 literacy centers with 650 students and 130 volunteers. Following a twenty-five year teaching career, Frey retired in 1979, but has continued to work as a literacy volunteer. She has taught as far away as the palaces of the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia, and in 1996 alone, she tutored students for more than 500 hours. She has also written books that aid in teaching of English as a second language.

In recognition of her devotion to promoting adult literacy and education, Frey has received many awards including the Scripps Howard Foundation's Distinguished Service to Literacy Award, Tucson Sertoma International's Service to Mankind Award, and the American Association of Retired Persons' Legacy Award. In 1999, she was honored by President William Clinton with the President's Service Award, sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation.