Elmhurst College Ties Run Deep for Carolyn Barth ’58

Photo of Carolyn Barth '58.Her father, Victor Barth ’28, a chemist, attended Elmhurst College and was the engineer of Test for the Chicago and North Western Railroad (when it was called that). In addition, he was the choir director for 30 years at the Immanuel United Church of Christ, Bensenville, Illinois. Ten members of her family attended Elmhurst, and her cousin Ralph Kroehler ’52 set up an endowed scholarship in the Kroehler family name. Her Mother, Luella S. Barth, took voice at Elmhurst College.

Our family has a legacy at Elmhurst,” Barth said. One cherished memento she has that illustrates this strong connection is a copy of an Elmhurst Hymnal. Her grandfather, Rev. Christian J. Barth (Class of 1895) translated one of the hymns that is included in the book from German to English.

The biology major from Bensenville, Illinois, served on the Dorm Council and lived in Shick and Dinkmeyer Halls. Music was her passion. She took voice and viola lessons and sang in the Choir. Barth served as lab assistant for Dr. Harvey DeBruine, who understood her love of music after hearing her sing at a recital. “Now I know,” he said simply.

Professor DeBruine, Choir Tour Director T. Howard Krieger, and other Elmhurst faculty members showed through their examples how to live. “The ethics I learned from the faculty became the firm foundation on which I have based my life ever since,” Barth said.

After Elmhurst, she earned a master’s in medical technology and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from Wayne State University, Detroit. As operations manager of the Department of Pathology at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, she did clinical test research setting up new tests—including establishing the Quality Assurance/Risk Management program for the department. After retirement, she went back to work at the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, helping the Institute with its fundraising efforts. She currently is the Congress Administrator Director for The Eye and The Auto and The Eye and The Chip Research Congresses held annually. Currently, she resides in Gross Pointe Woods, Michigan.

Barth has used a designated gift in her estate to fund an endowed scholarship at Elmhurst in her family’s name. She is also applying her annual gifts to the scholarship to allow deserving students to experience the same life-shaping atmosphere that she did.

My family has such an attachment to Elmhurst,” she said. “We want to see the College grow and prosper.”


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