Dedicated Foster Father, Maintenance Man at Lincoln University for 50 Years Has No Plans to Retire

Image of Michael Ruff via Jessica Griffin, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Michael Ruff, a dedicated foster father and boiler tech who has been working at Lincoln University for the last 50 years, has no plans to retire anytime soon, writes Stephanie Farr for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I often think ‘What am I going to do if I retire?’” said Ruff. “I’d rather be working.”

Ruff, who grew up in West Grove, took the job in housekeeping at one of the country’s first HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in 1969. This makes him the longest-serving employee on the school’s campus.

“I figure as long as I’m able to do some good, I’ll keep going, year by year,” said Ruff, 69.

In addition to his work, Ruff has been providing a warm home for foster children since the mid-1990s with his girlfriend of 30 years. They have fostered between 20 and 30 children during this time and have adopted three of them. The two are currently raising a 13-year-old boy who has now been with them for three years.

“I love kids,” said Ruff. “Good, bad, or indifferent.”

Read more about Michael Ruff in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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