UC Santa Cruz has lost a dear friend

To: UCSC Community

From: Chancellor Blumenthal

It is with great sadness that I write to share news of the passing of Rita Pister, wife of UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Emeritus Karl Pister. Rita passed away Sunday, May 22, after a month-long hospitalization.

Rita was a dear friend who served the campus in her official capacity as associate to the chancellor from 1991 to 1996. During her tenure, she was a warm and welcoming ambassador for UCSC--both on campus and in the Santa Cruz community.

Many of you may also remember Rita for her passionate advocacy of students. She not only believed that students from all backgrounds deserved the chance to realize their potential at UC Santa Cruz, she generously supported that belief.

The UCSC Women's Club established the Rita Olsen Pister Endowed Scholarship for Re-Entry Students in recognition of her service and her lasting contributions to the campus. In 2009, Rita and Karl were honored at the annual Scholarship Benefit Dinner for their service and continued philanthropic support of the campus.

Memorial services for Rita will be private.

Her family asks that any contributions in Rita's memory be directed to the Rita Olsen Pister Endowed Scholarship for Re-Entry Students. To contribute, please go online or make checks out to the UC Santa Cruz Foundation--Rita Olsen Pister Endowed Scholarship, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060.

Please join my wife Kelly and me in expressing our heartfelt condolences to Karl, their children, and other family members--and to her many friends on and off our campus.