The Virginia Cutler Scholarship was originally a scholarship named for and endowed by the Cutler Family. Upon the death of Dr. Virginia Cutler, a former FCS department chair from 1946-52, the scholarship name was changed to honor Dr. Cutler.
Virginia Farrer Cutler was born in Park City, Utah . Her family later moved to Murray , Utah , where she completed high school. She entered the University of Utah on a four-year scholarship, graduating in 1926. She taught for a short time and then married Ralph Garr Cutler. They settled in Salt Lake County , where he farmed.
Within two years of the marriage, her husband came in from the farm one day deathly ill. Within a few hours he was gone. At the time, she had one little boy and another soon to be born. It was 1931, the depths of the Depression. She returned to teaching in order to provide for herself and her young family. Within a short time, however, she had a strong desire to improve her circumstances. Shortly following her husband's death, she visited her former faculty members at the University of Utah . They encouraged her to apply for a scholarship at Stanford, where she completed her master's degree. Then she went on to Cornell, where she received her Ph.D. It took fifteen years from the time she entered Stanford until she finished at Cornell, but it was deliberate: She managed the programs so that the two boys were an integral part of her life.
In 1946, she returned home to head the Home Economics Department at the University of Utah . Within a few years she accepted an appointment with the U. S. State Department as an education advisor in Southeast Asia with assignments in Thailand and Indonesia . Seven years passed, and then she returned to Utah to become dean of the College of Family Living at Brigham Young University . In 1966 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Ghana in Legon, where she taught for three years. Then she returned to Brigham Young University in 1969 with the title of university professor. She A retired @ from BYU in 1970, but she spent the first years of her retirement in civic volunteer activities. She died on 20 May 1993 of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Virginia Cutler was a member of what is now Kappa Omicron Nu and a life member of what is now the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She concentrated on management of the home and family from both a personal and a professional perspective. The paradigms by which she lived her life are viable for present day family and consumer scientists throughout the world. Opportunities to observe and explore principles that guided her personal aims and professional practice have impact for friends and strangers, young and old, at home and away. Dr. Cutler knew that when people practice what they are taught, the lessons are reinforced. As one of the pioneers of international home economics, her modeling of the "dual role"of wage earner and homemaker remains a prototype for those who follow after her.