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$2.5M gift funds new education dean‘s chair

by James Lytle

Provost Lloyd Armstrong Jr., Joyce King-Stoops, Emery Stoops and dean of education Guilbert C. Hentschke.

A $2.5 million dean’s chair at the School of Education will bear the names of two distinguished educators – Emery Stoops and Joyce King-Stoops.

“It is entirely fitting that the Emery Stoops and Joyce King-Stoops Dean’s Chair in Education – a position that will contribute immeasurably to the school’s influence and prestige – should bear the names of two individuals who have done so much for education in Southern California,” said provost Lloyd Armstrong Jr.

A gift of $2.25 million from Emery Stoops and Joyce King-Stoops – together with a $250,000 contribution from the Rita H. Small Charitable Trust – will endow the chair in perpetuity. The school’s current dean, Guilbert C. Hentschke, will be the first to hold the new chair. The Stoopses have upgraded to a dean’s chair their previously announced commitment to create a professorial chair at the School of Education.

“USC has been an important part of our family for decades,” Stoops said. “We feel it is not only a privilege but an obligation to support its academic excellence. We don’t believe that the School of Education can be the best in the world: we know it.”

“We value our school and value our dean and are delighted that Guilbert Hentschke is the first in what we know to be a long line of distinguished educators to hold the dean’s chair position,” King-Stoops said.

President Steven B. Sample thanked the donors for helping to ensure educational excellence into the future.

“Of the countless acts of generosity that will help advance the university’s academic mission in coming years,” Sample said, “few have the capacity to shape the future as decisively as a gift endowing a dean’s chair. We are committed to building quality and institutional integrity for the long term – not just for the years, not just for the decades, but for the centuries ahead. The Stoopses’ generosity and lifetime of service to the School of Education have moved us closer to achieving these goals.”

The couple’s gift, according to Sample, will contribute significantly toward the university’s Building on Excellence campaign to raise $1 billion by 2000.

“The Stoops Dean’s Chair signals that the dean of the School of Education is first and foremost an academic whose core work is intellectual,” said Hentschke, who has held the post since 1988.u0000

The Stoopses, both emeriti professors of education, have lived the classic American success story – rising from humble rural beginnings to self-actualized accomplishment.

Emery Stoops grew up in Kansas, attended a prairie school, and graduated from the University of Colorado in 1930. From 1928 to 1932, he grew wheat on 1,500 acres of land he owned in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. During the Depression, he came to USC to work on a master’s degree in education and to seek a teaching position.

“The one thing I knew was that I wanted someday to work for a university,” Stoops said.

After a fruitless job search, he returned to Kansas and taught in a rural school. Eventually, he worked his way back to Los Angeles and earned an Ed.D. in educational administration and supervision at USC in 1941.

Stoops taught English, speech and social studies in Whittier, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles high schools and held administrative posts in Los Angeles County public schools before joining the USC faculty in 1953 as a professor of educational administration and supervision.

Stoops has served as an educational consultant to the U.S. Office of Education, California State Department of Education and numerous school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District.

He taught at USC for 17 years before retiring as professor emeritus in 1970. He then embarked on a second career in estate planning, life insurance and tax-sheltered annuities. He was the co-founder and president of First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co. and served as a top-selling financial adviser and estate planning consultant for the Aetna Life Insurance Co.u0000

Joyce King-Stoops grew up in rural Ohio. She worked her way through midwestern colleges as a nurse and a technician in a chemistry laboratory, finally earning her teaching credential and a bachelor’s degree at Northern Illinois University. She moved to California, where she earned a master’s degree at CSU Long Beach. She taught in Long Beach city schools, where she soon became a vice principal and then a principal.

After earning her master’s degree, she began to invest in real estate. “In those years, I learned to carpenter, paint, install garbage disposals, and do anything else needed to reclaim a derelict building,” she said.

She completed her Ed.D. at USC in 1967 and met Stoops at her final oral exam, where he was substituting for another professor. They married two years later.

King-Stoops served as professor of teacher education and assistant dean of the School of Education from 1963 until 1987, when she retired as professor emerita. As assistant dean, she made financial assistance for meritorious students a top priority, establishing 25 new scholarships, including five scholarships donated by the Stoopses themselves.

She served in the USC Faculty Senate and as president of the university’s chapter of the national honor society, Phi Kappa Phi.

“USC is a unique institution in its concern for helping students to be academically successful and then keep on growing,” King-Stoops said. “If a student drops out, we professors feel that we have failed. Even after students graduate, we try not to lose track of them. We continue to draw them back for continuing education and professional development. They’re part of the Trojan family for life.

“USC has been our academic and spiritual home – a place for us to nurture the type of learning that has made our own lives successful.”u0000

$2.5M gift funds new education dean‘s chair

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