After she died in 2013, her husband, Homer, established the Ramona Ware Emmons Paul Endowed Professorship in Early Childhood “to encourage excellence in teaching, research and scholarship in the area of early childhood.”
Amy Williamson, an associate professor of human development and family science and director of the Institute for Building Early Relationships, is the first Paul Professor.
“Ramona Paul made a huge impact on how early childhood education is viewed and implemented in Oklahoma,” Williamson says. “It’s an honor to hold this professorship, which allows me to make an impact on my field in a variety of ways, particularly through research, supporting early childhood workforce development and student mentoring.”
Homer Paul says the professorship honors Ramona’s legacy and his belief that OSU should continue to be a laboratory for enhancing education for young children.
“The need for bigger and better and more expanded attention to early childhood is pretty clear,” Homer Paul says. “It’s a matter of economics and establishing potential in all children. It raises the bar on the educational level for kids and makes us appreciate that the earlier they start learning, the better. From birth on is a tremendous learning window. That shouldn’t be left until they get to kindergarten.”
Homer Paul is comforted knowing his gift is still enhancing Ramona's work for future generations.
Previously, Ramona Paul and her brother, Robert Ware, memorialized their parents in 2004 by establishing the H.G. & Girdie Ware Endowed Scholarship for Human Sciences students. In 2006, Homer and Ramona Paul’s generous donation created the Childhood Development Lab’s Homer and Ramona Paul Model Teaching Classroom. The classroom contains adult- and child-size equipment and materials. Instructors invite teachers and children from the lab to the classroom so early childhood education students can work with them.
Ramona Paul’s impact was extensive. She was a founding member of Women for OSU and served as chair of the group’s Awards Committee. She was inducted into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame and the College of Human Sciences Hall of Fame. Paul was also named Kappa Kappa Gamma Woman of the Year by the Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae Panhellenic, Oklahoma representative to the White House for the 1979 United Nations’ International Year of the Child, and chosen for the United States Air Force Air War College National Security Forum in 1982.