Ruth Lambrick Van Tieghem Scholarship

Ruth Lambrick Van Tiegem Scholarship 

Roots in the Quad Cities 

Albert Van Tieghem was born in Moline on September 1, 1927. As a young boy, he attended Sacred Heart School in Moline, IL followed by high school at Saint Joe’s in Rock Island, IL. In 1945, after high school and in the midst of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy. He was recalled into the Korean War in 1950. When the time came to enter into college, he chose to remain in the area and attend Augustana College for four and a half years of night school. There, he studied accounting and taxation. He received teaching certificates in both business administration and music, and became a Licensed Public Accountant and Accredited Business Accountant and Tax Preparer.

Mr. Van Tieghem married Ruth Lambrick in 1948. During the early years of married life, the couple lived in Moline and Mr. Van Tieghem worked for the International Harvester Farmall plant. By the time he left the company, he had served there for 12 years. They had their first child, Nancy, in 1949. In 1955, he started his own private accounting and tax business in East Moline. Along with the many other responsibilities he was juggling, Mr. Van Tieghem was also secretary-treasurer of Moline Iron Works from 1957-1961. By 1959, he and Ruth had four more children: Carol, Diane, Rick and Bob. Although Mr. Van Tieghem was working for his accounting and tax business and coaching little league baseball, he always treasured the time and attention he and Ruth bestowed upon their five children.

A Very Busy Man

From 1961 to 1965, Mr. Van Tieghem taught at the Moline Institute of Commerce, the American Institute of Commerce in Davenport, and Blackhawk College. Along with teaching, he was a lecturer for The National Society of Public Accountants, and later became the society’s president. He spent 12 years traveling the world and delivering presentations on “Taxation and Accountancy,” simultaneously holding the presidential position at the Chamber of Commerce and East Moline Rotary Club, and keeping up his business.

Why the Scholarship Came to Be

Ruth Van Tieghem passed away in 1994. In response to Ruth’s esteem for Quad City youth, Mr. Van Tieghem created a memorial scholarship in her name through the Belgian Cultural Society. The Society handles their funds through the Community Foundation, which is how Mr. Van Tieghem was first introduced to the Foundation. The scholarship is awarded each year to a student who has completed their first two years of college, and shows not only that they are committed to continuing their education, but also enthusiastic about the field in which they are studying.

Faith in the Young People

Mr. Van Tieghem’s own opportunity for excellent education has motivated him to provide similar opportunities for students through the Ruth Van Tieghem Memorial Scholarship and the Community Foundation. “If we don’t have faith in the young people, then our country’s in sad shape,” he says. “We hear a lot about the bad ones, and not enough about the good ones. We need to devote ourselves to that.” True to his word, through the legacy of Ruth and himself, Mr. Van Tieghem will continue their devotion to the caliber and potential of youth in the Quad City area.

"Having a strong endowment helps to ensure that the German Ameican Heritage Center is here for future generations to learn from and enjoy."

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The Teens for Tomorrow youth philanthropy program has given local students the opportunity to grant more than $70,000 to the community since the program's inception in 2002.
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