Maude Esther White


"She is a motivating force in the Des Moines community and has been a pioneer in civil rights and in the empowerment of children."
— Monroe Colston and Frances Colston, 1998

Maude Esther White, born in 1913 as one of nine children to Reverend and Mrs. G.W. White of Perry, Iowa, has devoted her life to assisting disadvantaged persons in education, employment, housing, and business. She attended the University of California at Berkeley and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Drake University, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Grand View College, which established the Maude Esther White Endowed Scholarship in 1995. After holding a number of teaching and government positions in California, she came to Iowa where she was the first affirmative action administrator for the State of Iowa. In 1980, she founded and directed, until 1991, the Des Moines Tutoring Center, a nonprofit organization that strives to encourage young people to reach their potential through education. She has served on the Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans, and the boards of Good Samaritan Urban Ministries, San Francisco LINKS, YWCA, American Association of University Women, and Girl Scouts of America. She is past board member and president of the Des Moines Branch of the NAACP. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1998.  

UPDATE: White died on February 23, 2003.