Special Remembrances

The Scripps community remembers those who gave decades of service to the College.

by Scripps Magazine

Ellen Hutchinson Ellis ’39

Ellen Hutchinson Ellis ’39, of Pasadena, California, on June 19, 2018. Ellen was a trustee from 1976 until 1989 and president of the Alumnae Association from 1968 until 1970. She was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumna award, and she also served as a volunteer for Reunion Weekend 2009, her class’s 70th reunion, and processed in the inauguration ceremony for President Lori Bettison-Varga in 2010. The year Ellen graduated from Scripps, she married Herbert Bailey Ellis; they moved to La Cañada, California, in 1944. The couple had three children. Ellen was a passionate volunteer, community leader, and businesswoman. In 1959, she was the first successful write-in candidate for the La Cañada School Board. She was also the first president of the board of the La Cañada Unified School District, and she served as a board member until 1967. In 1961, she was honored as Woman of the Year by the Women’s Division of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and she was named La Cañadan of the Year by the La Cañada Kiwanis Club in 1962. Ellen was president of the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena and president of the Pasadena Opera Guild. Starting in the 1970s, she and her husband partnered with three other couples to establish travel businesses in the Pasadena area: Plaza Travel of La Cañada, Orangewood Travel, and Plaza Travel de las Puentes. Her extensive travels earned her membership in the Century Club, having visited more than 100 countries. She also became knowledgeable about travel facts and information about destinations around the world. Ellen is survived by two of her children, John Ellis and Janet Calvo, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Martha “Martia” Wehmeier Hammer ’66

Martha “Marti” Wehmeier Hammer ’66, of Los Angeles, on July 4, 2018. Marti earned a BA in history with honors from Scripps. A year later, she married Steven H. Hammer; the two had met while Steve was a sophomore at Pomona College and Marti was looking at Scripps as a high school senior. For more than 50 years, the couple rarely spent a day apart. They were 47-year residents of their home in Playa del Rey, where they raised their three children. Upon graduating from Scripps, Marti pursued an Arabic language graduate fellowship at Columbia University and entered a PhD program in medieval Islamic studies at UCLA on a full grant from the National Defense Education Act. She earned an MA at UCLA before deciding to change fields, enrolling at Loyola Law School. She graduated, passed the California Bar, and joined the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. She later moved to head the Labor and Employment practice of the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Marti was a frequent lecturer and writer on issues of employment law, negotiation, women in the workforce, higher education, and corporate philanthropy. Marti was a devoted alumna who enthusiastically supported her alma mater. In 1987, she joined the Board of Trustees, and she served as chair of the Board from 1991 until 1996, during which time she was a key leader of the College’s 1995 strategic plan. In 1989, Marti chaired the Presidential Selection Committee that chose Nancy Bekavac to be the sixth president of Scripps. She was also a member of the Alumnae Council and served as president of the West Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter, as well as a member of her class’s 25th and 30th Reunion Gift Committees. The Martha Wehmeier Hammer ’66 Scholarship was established in 1996 to honor her service to the College as Board chair. The scholarship is awarded to an outstanding sophomore who successfully completes the three-semester Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities program. In recent years, Marti had devoted herself to scholarship on women artists of the Mexican muralist movement, publishing the definitive work on the paintings in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City. She was also a member of the Paintings Conservation Council of the J. Paul Getty Museum. She and her husband were avid and discerning art collectors, assembling a notable collection of Latin American art. She also found time to enjoy several hobbies and was an accomplished gardener, an inveterate birder, and gifted at stitchery. Marti leaves behind her husband, three children, and grandchild in addition to many loving family members and longtime dear friends.

Donald David Belcher

Donald David Belcher, of Pauma Valley, California, passed away on Friday, July 6, 2018. He served as a trustee of the College from 1989 until 1994. As group vice president at Avery Dennison and owner of Troutdale Ranch, he contributed his business knowledge and experience to the Board. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Belcher received his BA from Dartmouth College and his MBA at Stanford University. He also served in the United States Army, ultimately holding the rank of captain. He served on numerous boards of directors, including those of Fellowes Brands, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Palomar Medical Center, and the Boy Scouts of America. He was also an active philanthropist, supporting numerous causes, including World Vision, Living Water, Palomar Medical Center, and the Scholarship Fund at Pauma Valley Country Club. He is survived by his wife, Marie, his three children, and five grandchildren.