Maude Esther White
is a motivating force in the Des Moines community and has been
in civil rights
and in the empowerment of children."
Monroe Colston and Frances Colston, 1998
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.
died on February 23, 2003.