St. Mary’s Dominican High School received Microsoft Surface™ Pro 3s from The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation. At the presentation, James E. Ryder, Jr. of the Foundation, shared the legacy of Ruth Udstad Fertel, a successful restaurateur and founder of Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses.
Ruth Fertel, a single mom of two sons, was working as a lab technician at Tulane Medical Center when she replied to a classified ad of a restaurant for sale. Despite having no business background, and ignoring the advice of friends, her banker and lawyer, Fertel mortgaged her house and bought the restaurant. Within six months she made over double her annual salary from her lab tech job. Today, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a chain of over 100 steakhouses across the United States and in several international locations, including Canada, Mexico, Asia and Puerto Rico. The restaurant is regarded as an upscale fine dining establishment, marking a gradual elevation in its status since its founding in the 1960s.
Addressing the students who received the Surfaces, Ryder said, “Ruth Fertel believed in education and the opportunity for women. This is the perfect marriage of the two,” adding, “When you walk across the stage at graduation to receive your diploma, you will take with you these devices that you will use in your future studies at college.”
The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation, established in Fertel’s will, supports education in Louisiana, including public, private, and parochial schools; special programs designed to serve students from kindergarten through college; and other high-impact educational initiatives.