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Trailblazer Dorothy Everett makes history once again

by Christopher Noble

Dorothy Everett, the longtime UC administrator who blazed a trail at the university with her career at the Office of the President, is about to make history again.

Everett, whose rise to assistant president in 1975 made her one of UC’s highest-ranking women administrators, recently was honored by the creation of an endowed chair in her name. It is believed to be the first time in the university’s history that an endowed chair has been named for a staff employee.

The Dorothy E. Everett Endowed Chair for Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship in the UC Santa Cruz Division of Social Sciences was approved in June. It’s expected to be filled by fall 2014, said Katie Roper, managing director of UC Santa Cruz’s Global Information Internship Program (GIIP), where the chair will reside.

GIIP was founded by Paul M. Lubeck and Kyle Eischen in 1998. Lubeck, a UCSC professor of sociology, is widely recognized for his pioneering work on political and economic change in the Muslim world, particularly in Nigeria. Managed by UCSC students called “GIIP Fellows,” GIIP teaches students to use information technology applications to advance social justice by partnering with community groups, schools and NGOs worldwide.

The chair was made possible through the generosity of the Mark W. Headley and Christina J. Pehl family, which donated $500,000 to endow the chair. The family donated an additional $250,000 to secure a name change for the GIIP Program, which will be called The Everett Program for Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship.

Headley, a UCSC alumnus whose father was close friends with Everett, said he hoped the chair would help secure the future of GIIP, an interdisciplinary program that combines practical training in information technology and social entrepreneurship with student-driven social justice ventures.

Dorothy Everett as WAC

Everett served for four years as a captain in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. She spent the last year of her tour in Japan, where she served on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and developed a lifelong passion for Japanese art and culture.

“Dorothy was one of the most powerful administrators ever at the university,” Headley said. “I thought if we got the Everett chair in place, no one was ever going to mess with the program. You just couldn’t mess with Dorothy.”

The chair will combine a tenure-track professorship with the position of executive director of the Everett program, a combination that should secure the long-term future of the program, said Katie Roper, managing director of GIIP.

“What’s great about this chair is that managing the program is built into it,” Roper said. “The Everett chair will now guarantee a faculty director to manage the program for future students.”

Everett, who died in 2003 at the age of 83, arrived at OP in 1954 after a year in the personnel department at UC Berkeley. She went on to work for four UC presidents in various administrative capacities. In 1975, she was named assistant president, a post created specifically for her by then–UC president David Saxon in recognition of her talent and value as an administrator.

Headley and others who knew her said Everett would have approved of the goals of GIIP and would have been thrilled by the honor.

“Dorothy was the best of what the UC administration represented and GIIP is really the best of what UC Santa Cruz represents,” he said.

Patricia Pelfrey, who worked with Everett for years at UCOP and is now conducting research at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies on Higher Education, said she agreed.

“I can’t imagine an honor that would have given Dorothy greater pleasure. She would have been delighted.”

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