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Eve Sprunt
Passionate Persistence

Mother’s fame was a surprise to me. When I was a child, she was a frustrated, stay-at-home mother of five children. We were born within an eight-year time span from 1949 to 1957. After the birth of number three, Mother was too overwhelmed to continue working even part time. She sent me to run errands when I was barely three and had groceries delivered. In the evening, she dozed off folding mountains of cloth diapers on the dining room table.

I was a freshman in college in 1969 when Beatrice de Regniers took Mother under her wing and Scholastic published Mother’s first book, The Wednesday Witch, which sold over a million copies and was translated into multiple languages, including Finnish and Japanese. I only witnessed part of her struggle to get it published, because I didn’t live at home my senior year of high school. Afterwards, I spent as little time in Brooklyn as possible. Mother mailed me an autographed copy of each of her books, which she wrote under her maiden name, Ruth Chew. I lined her books up on a shelf and didn’t bother to read most of them. By 1998, Scholastic had published 29.

My close contact with Mother bracketed her time as a successful author and illustrator. I supervised her care, when she could no longer care for herself, so her treasures, including all of her diaries, ended up in my home. When I was a child, Mother told me not to read her diaries, which she began writing on New Year’s Day 1934, when she was thirteen, and continued daily until early 2001. She claimed there was nothing of interest in them, just a dry record of the events of the day. As a parent, she preached the importance of telling the truth, but she didn’t accurately describe the contents of her diaries.

Eve challenged corporations about gender pay equity and pushed professional societies to be more inclusive. She has served as President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, President of the American Geosciences Institute and founded the Society of Core Analysts. After earning her BS and MS degrees from MIT, Eve became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford. During her energy industry career, she worked in research, business development, climate change, venture capital investing, alternative energy and university recruiting and philanthropy. Author of three books, Eve focuses on career issues that impact women and dual-career couples.

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