Congratulations to Summertime and Springtime author, Ruth Van Reken, on her honorary degree — a Doctor of Letters — from Wheaton College for her lifelong and visionary advocacy for third culture kids.
Ruth seeks to help cross-cultural sojourners navigate their own paradoxical stories of pilgrimage, including the challenges of multiple cycles of separation and loss, while at the same time welcoming with joy the many gifts also received. With David C. Pollock and Michael V. Pollock, Ruth coauthored Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, widely considered the “TCK bible.”
Ruth Van Reken is the author of Letters Never Sent, and co-author of Third Culture Kids and Life in Motion.
FIGT had very humble beginnings in the Midwest USA. While trying to adjust to life in suburban Indiana after living overseas, Ruth realized that not enough help was being given to relocated families. Although relocation packages included nice benefits and practical information, they lacked support in other areas.
“Topics such as transition, TCKs or spousal matters were not covered,” she said. “There seemed little awareness or appreciation for the enormity of the emotional/ psychological/ social issues that they or their children faced.”
In the meantime, Norma McCaig had started Global Nomads and David Pollock was talking about TCKs to international schools and organizations. Ruth’s memoir, Letters Never Sent had been published and people had begun writing to her, sharing their own similar experiences.
“It was apparent that issues related to global family living were real out in the world but they seemed invisible where I was living in Indianapolis,” she recalled. Then one day while sitting at her kitchen table with three friends, discussing the book she was writing with David Pollock, they realized it would be great to spread this information to a wider audience.