March 27, 2000
One of a kind: UCSC's first housing director is retiring
By Jim Burns
Many people retire from a job wanting to believe that their years of service made
a difference. That their place of employment is better off because of their efforts.
Jerry Walters, who retires from UCSC at the end of March after 35 years on the job,
most of it as UCSC's first director of housing, has no trouble visualizing his impact.
At UCSC, which houses almost half of its students on campus (by far the highest percentage
in the UC system), the manifestations of his work are difficult to miss.
|Jerry Walters (left) greets well-wishers at his reception. (More
But Walters is the last person to claim credit for UCSC's housing accomplishments.
"Jerry may be the only person I've ever known about whom I've never heard a
negative comment," said Harry LeGrande, head of housing at UC Berkeley and one
of many people--mostly past and present UCSC employees--to attend Walters' going-away
reception at Cowell College on March 17.
Emceed by Francisco Hernandez, vice chancellor of student affairs, the event was
a send-off for a person who has helped build UCSC, literally from the ground up.
Speakers like Hal Hyde--the campus's first vice chancellor of business and finance
and the person who hired Walters as a senior clerk in October 1964, a year before
the campus opened to students--recalled some particularly nostalgic "Jerry"
- Like his in-the-line-of-fire duty as a leader of the security team for then-California
Governor Ronald Reagan, during a Regents meeting at Cowell College in 1968 that prompted
a sizable anti-Vietnam War student demonstration.
- Or one of his early jobs, helping prepare UCSC's library for its opening after
the arrival of the first shipment of--uncatalogued--books.
- Or another special assignment, organizing Ansel Adams' tours of the campus in
the mid-1960s, visits that produced the photographer's classic early-UCSC series.
But it's the work that Walters and his colleagues in housing have done providing
on-campus accommodations for students these past decades that highlights his own
personal reflections on 35 years at UCSC.
"You think about how many tremendously bright and eager people have come through
here," Walters said after the reception. "I feel that our work has touched
a lot of lives."
In honor of Walters' years of service to UCSC, the campus has established the
Jerome B. Walters Child Care Fund, benefiting UCSC child care programs. Contributions
should be made payable to the UC Santa Cruz Foundation and mailed to:
Jerome B. Walters Child Care Fund
Attention: Donor Services
Carriage House, UCSC
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
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