VC Powe ’75, MBA ’77, Cert. ’90, a beloved UCLA staff member for three decades, including the last 22 at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, passed away Sept. 16. She was 66.
Powe began her UCLA career at Alumni Affairs in 1990, moving to the Luskin School in 1998, serving in a variety of roles over the years, including director of alumni and government relations.
In a statement, Gary M. Segura, Luskin School dean and professor, said, “VC was a pivotal figure in the history of the School of Public Affairs. She has been with the School since shortly after its founding, and with UCLA for 30 years! She advised a generation of Luskin grads. As executive director of external programs and career services, VC oversaw counseling, internships and fellowships, the Bohnett Fellows Program and the Senior Fellows Program, and she developed long and deep ties to the community and its leadership — political, civic and philanthropic. In my four years as Dean, as I have traveled around Los Angeles and its institutions, there is no single name associated with the School more widely known and more favorably commented upon than VC’s. She was a passionate advocate for our students and alums. She will be deeply missed.”
Other tributes and expressions of sadness poured in from across campus and the community.
Zev Yaroslavsky ’71, M.A. ’72, a former Los Angeles city councilman and county supervisor, who is now director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the Luskin School, recalled, “When I first came back to UCLA in 2015, one of the first people who took me under her wing was VC. Her engaging smile, understated demeanor, intense commitment to our students, soothing voice, and total embrace of me let me know that I was back home.”
“She was someone that always offered a smile, extended a helping hand and took a moment to let you know that she cared about you,” said Keith Parker, a former assistant vice chancellor of government and community relations. “I always told her VC stood for ‘Very Caring.’”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl ’61, called Powe the “perfect combination of supreme competence, kindness and empathy.”
“VC advocated tirelessly for students and worked to help so many individually,” Kuehl said. “When I was lucky enough to serve as a Regents’ professor for a quarter, I would have been completely lost without her generous time. She will be deeply missed.”
Friend and colleague Estellaleigh Franenberg of Alumni Affairs said, “She had so much positive energy and kindness that she shared with anyone. This is a terrible loss.”
Read Dean Segura’s full message here.
Read the full UCLA Newsroom obituary here.