Our History

Pritchard University 

Our namesake, Ruth Cory Pritchard (1924-2002) inspired many and blazed a unique professional trail during her life, just as Pritchard University seeks to enable the next generation of trail blazers for the future. Ruth was best known as editor and publisher of The Pocket Directory of the California Legislature, the “little red book” widely carried by those who contact legislators, and other political publications. She founded the publishing company Capitol Enquiry in 1973.

Ruth had a long and storied career in Sacramento, California. When she passed away the California State Assembly passed a resolution honoring her life full of achievement.

Ruth was the writer/editor in the office of then Governor Ronald Reagan; a lobbyist for the League of Women Voters; Public Relations Director for the California School Boards Association (starting its PR program); and a consultant and trainer for the state Department of Education under Superintendent of Public Instruction Wilson Riles. Ruth founded the Sacramento chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus and was campaign chair for California’s first woman State Senate candidate, Suzanne Paizis. 

Born in Sidney, Ohio on August 10, 1924, Ruth moved to Dayton during World War II to attend Sinclair College and work for the Dayton Journal-Herald. After the war, she married and moved to Cincinnati, where her children were born. In the mid-1950’s in Pittsburgh, PA, she pioneered as one of the few women working in television, hosting a live talk show and making documentaries for 3 local stations

Ruth moved to Chicago in 1965, becoming an editor with Scott, Foresman textbook publishers. She moved to Sacramento in 1970, reconnecting with high school sweetheart Alan Pritchard, an editor and columnist for The Sacramento Bee. They married and shared 25 happy years together before Alan’s death in 1996.

Ruth’s devotion to Alan and her joy in children, grandchildren and friends were hallmarks of her life.

It is with love and admiration that her family chose to name the Pritchard University educational institution in her honor.