Portrait of Dow, Sally S.

Dow, Sally S.

August 11, 1998

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Sally Dow, staff member, was instrumental in the formation and nurturing of the Alumni Association for UC Riverside. She conveys the impact UCR graduates have had on the campus.
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Dow: I think at that time Tim Hays was the president. I'd always have to go down and get their ok on minutes before I typed them. I had no problem because they were all such easy going, and you know originally the Citizens University Committee met at the Mission Inn.

Erickson: Oh really?

Dow: And they maybe had twelve to fifteen people for membership. Can you imagine? And then later on when we went out to the university, we had over 100.

Erickson: Oh, yeh.

Dow: But I got to know them so well. I was just a flunky, but they all had me up on a pedestal. I don't know why but

Erickson: Because you could do so many things.

Dow: Well, I worked so hard. You know, I'd do the minutes and then have them okayed. And then I got real close to Philip Boyd. He was our Regent. I just met some really wonderful people. And you know, my contact was with the faculty, and I worked with the students and worked with the staff.

Erickson: Now how did you work with the students? In what capacity?

Dow: Well, when I had Commencement, and then also at the beginning of the year, we had a welcome for new students. We'd put on a barbecue, and I'd always try to have a band, a rock band. I hated rock music but


Erickson: So were you given the freedom to develop all the programs that you thought were appropriate? Is that how it worked?

Dow: Yes. You know, like the freshman barbecue. Somebody had mentioned that we should welcome freshman, but no one ever told me what I had to do. I just went ahead and had the barbecue. It wasn't very expensive. We'd usually try to have something like hot dogs or hamburgers. Then you get a rock band, and they all come and have a great time meeting one another and getting acquainted by dancing or whatever.

Erickson: So how would you do that? How would you actually organize it? Did you go to the Chancellor's calendar first, to his office to determine the calendar availability before you planned an event?

Dow: Oh, yes. Because you'd have to know the dates. A lot of times the Chancellor wasn't always there.

(telephone interruption)

Entertain incoming freshmen. You know, I'm trying to figure out how we got their names. Probably through

Erickson: The Registrar's Office?

Dow: Yeh. I think the Registrar-who were going to come to UCR. And usually about a week before orientation, we'd have the barbecue. We'd always have a pretty good turnout. We changed locations. Sometimes we'd have it up above the Humanities, you know, up in that upper part.

Erickson: Yes, uh huh.

Dow: And then after while, I think I had it down in front of the administration building.

Questions Regarding this Oral History Project should be directed to Jan Erickson at jan.erickson@ucr.edu.