Ione Vargus, Ph.D.
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. In addition to her roles as Acting Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and Presidential Fellow, Dr. Vargus served as the Dean of the School of Social Administration for 13 years. It was a combination of her graduate studies and experience as a social worker in Chicago and Boston 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 400 national and local publications and has appeared on a variety of radio, television and online shows. For 17 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”.