March 15, 1996
With deep sadness, I regret to announce that Dr. Donald E. Bianchi, Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, passed away early on the morning of March 14, 1996. I ask the campus community to join me in grieving the passing of a distinguished and longtime member of the University family and in sending our prayers and best wishes to his wife Georgia and his family.
As the senior dean and one of the most senior faculty members at California State University, Northridge, Don Bianchi played an essential role in the growth and excellence of this institution. Since joining us in 1959, only a year after the campus was formally made part of the California State University, he has been a model of dedication and service to the University and its students. Don's distinguished career as a teacher and a scholar and his devotion to the achievement of his students were exemplary. He leaves behind a wonderful and lasting legacy that will be always remembered by his colleagues, students and friends.
As Dean, Don made a profound impact on the direction of the University and his School. His skillful leadership, for example, made possible the entire Science complex on campus, consisting of Science 1 and 2, and later, Science 3 and 4, and the Planetarium. As the primary architect of these, he enhanced the University's contributions to research and teaching in the sciences.
I came to admire and depend upon Don during my first year at Cal State Northridge when he served as Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, an appointment that was a well deserved acknowledgement of his leadership and the respect with which his colleagues held him. After he returned to the deanship, both Provost Louanne Kennedy and I continued to depend greatly on his advice and knowledge of the campus. His expertise was especially essential to us during our recovery from the earthquake when his genial and unflappable presence were clearly one of our greatest assets.
I will deeply miss Don's warmth and generosity. And I know how sincerely loved and respected he was by his many friends and colleagues around this campus.
Today, we mourn the passing of an important figure in the history of this institution, an admired colleague and a dear friend, and I ask that you remember him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be made to the Donald E. Bianchi Memorial Fund in the School of Science and Mathematics.
Blenda J. Wilson