Ludel Boden Sauvageot, 1906-1996

In 1927, Ludel Boden Sauvageot became the first female graduate of the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Shortly thereafter, Sauvageot set out to make an impact in the public relations field and beyond.

In the 1930s, her public relations position for a large Methodist Mission group took her to the slums of Cuba and the hills of Appalachia. In 1946, she organized the first hospital public relations program in Ohio at Akron General Hospital (now Akron General Medical Center), where her husband, Dr. J. Paul Sauvageot, worked. She remained with the hospital for the next 30 years.

Sauvageot is perhaps best known for her treatment of the younger generation of public relations professionals. She advised, mentored and counseled many young people entering the field and remained a role model for both aspiring and practicing public relations professionals and journalists everywhere. The Ludel Sauvageot Scholarship is still awarded annually to an outstanding public relations major in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Akron Press Club recently created another scholarship in her name. It was given for the first time in 2003 to the top Public Relations college student in the five-county area.

During her more than six-decade career, she upheld the highest standards of public relations and served as president of the Akron chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and Kent State University’s Public Relations Council. She was president of the Akron chapter of Women in Communications and served on the Akron Press Club Board.

Sauvageot was the author of four books: A Matter of Heart: The History of the American Heart Association in Akron, Ohio, from its Founding in 1950 through May 1995 (1995);Partners in History: The Story of Ohio Hospitals and the Ohio Hospital Association (1992); Service for All: The Story of Akron General Medical Center, 1914-1977 (1977); and Service for All: The Story of Akron General Medical Center, 1914-1986 (1986).

Sauvageot “retired” from Akron General Hospital at the age of 70, but returned soon after as a public relations consultant. She was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990.

Sauvageot died on April 18, 1996 in Akron. She left two sons, Andre and Jules.

–Zachary Jackson