Announcing the Passing of Former Trustee Sharon Walther Blasgen ’64

Dear Members of the Scripps College Community,

It is with sadness that I announce former trustee Sharon Walther Blasgen ’64 passed away last weekend.

Sharon was a beloved trustee from 2004-2010. She was respected for the thoughtful diligence she brought to the Board as a member of the Finance and Investment Committees, as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee, and as Co-Chair of the Technology Task Force. In 2004, she and her husband, Michael Blasgen (HMC ’64), established the Sharon and Michael Blasgen Scholarship to provide assistance to students with financial need.

As members of the College’s Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery’s Advisory Council and Scripps Collectors’ Circle, Sharon and Michael were devoted to supporting and contributing to Scripps’ permanent collection of art. To this effect, over the last few decades, the couple donated numerous works to the collection by noted photographers from the early 19th through 20th centuries. In addition, the couple recently donated funds that ensured the continuation of conservation work and safe return to campus of the College’s Shakespeare relief panel, The Merchant of Venice. The funds also provided for renovation of the next panel to be conserved.

The gallery is grateful for Sharon and Michael’s support in conserving and expanding the art collection at Scripps. Their thoughtful gifts helped students understand the history of photography, especially the contribution of women to the field, with works by leading photographers Julia Margaret Cameron, Consuelo Kanaga, Marion Post Wolcott, and Doris Ulmann. Sharon was a knowledgeable collector and generous alumna, providing students for years to come artistic resources that will enrich their learning.

After graduating from Scripps, Sharon went on to earn her JD degree from UC Berkeley. She served as associate general counsel at IBM for several years then as arbitrator before retiring in 2010.

Sharon and Michael raised two children, a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Alexandra; the couple also shared one grandchild, Orion.

In lieu of flowers, Michael asks that those who knew Sharon consider a gift to Scripps College in her name.

Please join me in celebrating a life of service and impact.


Lara Tiedens