The Author

Dr. Ione Dugger Vargus is professor emerita of Temple University where she broke new ground as the first African American ever to hold the title of academic dean in Temple’s history. Dr. Vargus served as the dean of the School of Social Administration for thirteen years, then became Temple’s acting vice provost for undergraduate education and presidential fellow. It was a combination of her experience as a social worker in Chicago and Boston, as well as her academic work as a professor at the University of Illinois, along with her endeavors in Philadelphia that inspired her lifelong commitment to strengthening families and promoting reunions as a way to enhance identity, self-esteem, and family values. Guided by that calling, Dr. Vargus founded the Family Reunion Institute at Temple University in 1990. Since then, she has become a nationally acclaimed authority on reunions and their role in sustaining spiritual and cultural vitality in our families and communities. Dr. Vargus has been interviewed or quoted by nearly four hundred national and local publications and has appeared on a variety of radio, television, and online shows. For seventeen years, she and a skillful team of volunteers produced a national conference on family reunions, drawing hundreds of attendees from all over the country. It is no wonder that she is widely and affectionately known as the Mother of Family Reunions. Her Family Reunion Institute continues to advise and guide readers through its website www.familyreunioninstitute.net.