Larry Bruno Foundation 

Elizabeth “Betty” Asche Douglas | The Magic

Images courtesy Betty Douglas and Larry Bruno Foundation

On episode 11 of The Magical Coach Podcast, Rick Mancini talks with Beaver County’s resident renaissance woman and Beaver Falls native, Elizabeth “Betty” Asche Douglas, about her extraordinary accomplishments as a pioneering African American educator, artist, singer, local historian, and 2020 Circle of Achievement Inductee.

Be sure to listen to the end of this episode for an inspiring message about the importance of leadership by 2013 Circle of Achievement inductee, George “Tookie” James.

Betty grew up in Beaver Falls in the same neighborhood as fellow Larry Bruno Foundation Inductee Joe Namath. She attended and graduated from Beaver Falls High School where she won Scholastic Awards in poetry, short story writing and visual art. While in Beaver Falls, she studied piano for 10 years, sang in youth choirs and was a Girl Scout through the senior level.

Professor Douglas’s collegiate preparation began with an Andrew Carnegie Scholarship to study painting and design in the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Institute of Technology where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Her Master of Arts in the History of Art and Architecture came from the University of Pittsburgh. After a year on a factory assembly line after college, Ms. Douglas began her teaching career as an art instructor at Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA. After that she held positions as assistant and associate professor at LeMoyne College, Memphis, TV, Philander Smith, Little Rock, AR and Texas College, Tyler, TX. Then art director at nationally distributed SEPIA Magazine and special assistant to John Howard Griffin, whose investigative journalism led to the book, Black Like Me, that played a key role in the U.S. civil rights struggle.

In the early 1960s Professor Douglas returned to academia, accepting an appointment to the faculty of Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. She rose to a full professorship and was coordinator of the team-taught interdisciplinary humanities curriculum that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Even though now retired, she continues to rerun each semester for guest lecture stints.


Over the years many organizations have utilized her talents in various capacities, and she has received many awards for professional excellence: Woman of Distinction in the Arts from the Western PA Girls Scouts; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream-Makers Award from the Baden Academy School; Lifetime Service Award, Rochester Chamber of Commerce. She has been included in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America, in the East, and of American Women.

Elizabeth serves on the boards of directors of several community organizations, among which are the Merrick Art Gallery Associates, the Beaver Valley Musicians Union, The Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, the Guild Council of the Pittsburgh Center of the Arts, the Midland Arts Council and Scholarship Chair of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. In recognition of outstanding contributions to her profession and the Marquis Who’s Who community, Elizabeth Asche Douglas has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website.

Hosted by the Larry Bruno Foundation, The Magical Coach Podcast features conversations, stories, and profiles of local community leaders, coaches, teachers, athletes, students, and many others who help inspire and create cultures of success in Beaver County and beyond. For more, visit The Magical Coach website.

This episode was recorded February 29, 2020 at the Larry Bruno Hall of Achievement in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Host: Rick Mancini. Guest: Elizabeth “Betty” Asche Douglas.  Producer and audiography: Kevin Farkas.  Music (available on David Hyde (“Acoustic Folk Instrumental”), “Rising B.”  Available on Ghost FX (“Trumpets”), Riot (“Level Plane”), xenadog777 (“Douglas Gallery & Artistry in Song”).  Available on (“Love”).  Other sounds (Available at The Social Voice Project): Episode 02 of The Magical Coach Podcast (“George “Tookie” James”).  ©The Magical Coach Podcast/The Larry Bruno Foundation. All rights reserved.