Remembering Bekki Lee

CLAREMONT, Calif. (October 13, 2013) — It is with deep sadness that Scripps College writes of the devastating news of the passing of its dear friend and colleague, Bekki Lee.

Bekki suffered a stroke on Friday, October 11, and was taken to Pomona Valley Medical Center, where she passed away Saturday morning. Her husband, David Hansen, Weinberg Family Dean of the W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges, and her two daughters, Emily and Nicole, were at the hospital.

This is a very sorrowful and terribly difficult time for Bekki’s family, and for her extended family here at Scripps and The Claremont Colleges.

Bekki served as a devoted Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs since 2010. In that time her contributions to the success and well being of our students were remarkable. She loved working with our students and helping them map their successful journey at Scripps. Under her guidance, the student affairs department made tremendous strides in developing our students as leaders and in continuing to cultivate a deep sense of community.

Before coming to Scripps College Bekki had a distinguished 23 year career at Amherst College, serving students in a wide range of positions. She also held key posts at Oberlin College, University of California, Davis and the University of Pennsylvania. She invested her heart in helping students and she was deeply committed to issues of equity and social justice.

Bekki also was a dedicated community volunteer, giving her time and talent to coaching children’s soccer, to Taiko drumming groups, and to community theater. Her generosity of spirit knew no bounds.

So many knew and cared for Bekki and respected her many contributions to our community. We have arranged for grief counselors to help all of us as we mourn her loss, and they are available to our community at any time.

The Board of Trustees and her colleagues on senior staff, also join in lifting Bekki up in our thoughts and prayers and in providing our deepest condolences to her family. She has deeply touched our lives and our community.

The College has established the Bekki Lee Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund to honor her life-long commitment to education, access, and inclusivity. In lieu of flowers, her family has asked that we celebrate Bekki through contributions to the newly established Scholarship Fund.

The family is planning a memorial service to be held at a future date and we will provide details, as we know more. If you would like to send cards or letters to the family, you may do so care of the President’s Office at Scripps College.

About Scripps College

Scripps College was founded in 1926 by Ellen Browning Scripps, a pioneering philanthropist and influential figure in the worlds of education, publishing, and women’s rights. Today, Scripps is a nationally top-ranked liberal arts college and women’s college with approximately 950 students, and is a member of The Claremont Colleges in southern California. The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.


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