Maria Jane “Ri” Renaud ’41 LIG Outdoor Education Scholarship

Mrs. Renaud: An Extraordinary Educator, Inside and Out

Ri Renaud Black and White version

Maria Jane “Ri” Wooten Renaud ‘41 LIG, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, University Liggett School Faculty Emerita, and friend to many, passed away this fall at age 98. Her mark as an educator at University Liggett School was revolutionary and remains indelible.

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Maria Jane “Ri” Renaud ’41 LIG Outdoor Education Scholarship

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MS Outdoor education
MS Rock Climbing

The Maria Jane “Ri” Renaud Scholarship, initiated by the Class of 1978, and supported by her three children — John '70 GPUS, Kirk '71, and Katie '74 — will be awarded annually to the student who demonstrates those qualities believed near and dear to Mrs. Renaud’s heart — passion for the outdoors, never-ending curiosity, respect for the environment, and commitment to ecological improvement.

Mrs. Renaud’s time teaching at University Liggett School and two of its predecessor schools spanned 33 years: 1946-1948 and 1958-1989.  She brought her experience as a geologist and a conservationist to the classroom, and combined that with a belief in the power of hands-on education. She frequently took her classes outside to help students better understand important concepts. She grew to be revered as a tough and thoroughly beloved teacher by students and families alike. By the 1970s, Mrs. Renaud was an award-winning leader in science education, and her teaching style was a favorite among students.

Mrs. Renaud’s innovative ideas for hands-on and outdoor education have lasted well beyond her retirement from the classroom in 1989. They have become one of the school’s signature differentiating programs. Generations of students have enjoyed transformative experiences at Proud Lake and Pleasant Lake thanks in large part to Mrs. Renaud’s efforts.

This named scholarship requires donations totaling at least $100,000. Once we reach this financial goal, ULS has a generous donor who will match the money raised with a second $100,000 donation, resulting in a $200,000 endowed scholarship. Payments and pledges to this important fund are being accepted now through June 30, 2023Pledges committed to now (or before June 30, 2023) can be paid over a three-year period.

Thank you for supporting outdoor education at University Liggett School!

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Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding your gift please contact Cressie Boggs, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at or 313.884.4444 ext. 413.