“Ah women!” Remembering Faith Tiberio

Faith Tiberio was a true force of — and force for — nature.

With a ready, welcoming smile and a deep, rich pool of knowledge and experience in her personal interests, it was hard not to become just as passionate about the causes she supported.

Tiberio's connections to Temple University Ambler date back more than a century to its pioneering forerunner, the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women. There have been few historic campus milestones in the past few decades that she hasn't supported. With her recent passing at the age of 92, the Ambler Campus has lost a champion, but her dedication and support will never be forgotten.

"Faith (Tiberio) was a dedicated voice for Temple Ambler who understood the place that the campus has in horticultural and women's history. She was always ready to support our efforts to protect and preserve that legacy," said Dr. Vicki Lewis McGarvey, Vice Provost for University College. "From the creation of the Woman's National Farm & Garden Visitors Center on campus and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the organization, to helping fund the campus historical marker and the Hilda Justice Artifacts Collection, Faith had a keen interest in and understanding of what makes Temple University Ambler special and historically important."

Tiberio's great grandmother, Emma, with Jane Bowne Haines, purchased the expansive tract of farmland that would become the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women.

Not quite a century after the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women welcomed its first students — all five of them — the trail-blazing efforts of the horticulture school were commemorated with a historical marker presented by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 2002. On that day, which brought together alumni from all across the country, it was Tiberio who coined the perfect rallying cry — "Ah women!"

"These women felt very strongly that women should be skilled in landscape design, horticulture, and gardening and that idea only intensified during this period of time. In 1917, when women were pressed into doing the work of men, the Ambler school stressed that women learn these important skills," said Tiberio, a vice chair of the 4-H Foundation, a former trustee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and a Past President of the of the Woman's National Farm and Garden Association.

The School of Horticulture and the Woman's National Farm and Garden Association were formed "at a time when women were being denied entrance into institutions such as Harvard," Tiberio said.

"They needed their own venue and they got it. I think (School of Horticulture founder) Jane Bowne Haines said it best — 'The trained hand with the trained mind, means mastery, power, and success.' This is as relevant today as it was then when Haines and others established the School of Horticulture and later helped form the Woman's National Farm and Garden Association," she said. "Having a branch of the Association at Temple Ambler, back where it all began, is like a coming home for the Farm and Garden."

Of the very first Farm and Garden meeting more than a century ago, Tiberio said the assembled group met in "the large, old barn (which remains a staple of the campus structures today) amid the hay bales and rhubarb flowers."

"They sat all day long listening to men and women speak about horticulture and agriculture. The outcome was the formulation of the Women's National Farm & Garden Association, which still exists today," she said. "In 1923, my father came to the school as a farm manager and teacher and it was there that he met his wife. While they may have left the school, their devotion remained, which speaks to my family's devotion to women and horticulture."

The great-granddaughter of New York shipping magnate, Isaac Hall and Emma Lukens Hall of New York, and daughter of the late Marguerita (Phillips) and Raymond T. Kuhrt, Faith Tiberio married the late Joseph Tiberio during WWII, according to her obituary. She and Joseph Tiberio met at the USO in St. Augustine where she was a hostess.

The couple established a small manufacturing concern in Holliston, Massachusetts. Today, Century-TyWood Manufacturing, Inc. is a global entity, providing not only metal fabrications, but fiber optic and green solutions worldwide. Taking the reins upon her husband's passing, Tiberio was fully engaged as president of the company at the time of her death.

Deeply interested in the arts, antiques, horticulture and history Tiberio served a four year term as the Curator General of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, DC, and was a member of the organization for 70 years. She was a former board member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society; a member of the Descendants of the Signers of the Constitution, Colonial Dames and Mayflower Women; provided inspiration for the antique car show known as 'Medfield on the Charles;' was on the board of directors at Lightner Museum in St. Augustine; and a founding member of the Wellesley Friends (Quaker) Meeting in Wellesley, MA.

The Tiberio's philanthropic legacy has had a significant impact on countless organizations, including Temple University Ambler.

In addition to her daughter, Faith Dougherty, and her husband Daniel of Great Falls, Virginia, Faith Tiberio is survived by daughter-in-law Linda Tiberio of Blackstone, MA; two sisters, Kay Burtin of St. Augustine, and Grace Camellia Ciocca of Holliston, MA. She also leaves behind her grandchildren, Raymond Tiberio, Harry Tiberio and his wife Kerrie; Faith Feuer and her husband Daniel, and Dakota Doughtery; as well as three great-grandchildren, Noah Tiberio and Arielle and Samantha Feuer. She is survived by many nieces and nephews, and Joseph Tiberio's brother, Henry Tiberio.

Photo caption: Faith Tiberio, center, helps to dedicate the Hilda Justice Artifacts Collection in 2011.