Cal State Northridge Mourns Passing of VP for Student Affairs Terry Piper
Public Relations and Strategic Communications
(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., May. 14th, 2010) ― Cal State Northridge Vice President for Student Affairs Terry Piper passed away Thursday evening at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica after a battle with melanoma surrounded by his wife, children and other family members. He was 57.
California State University, Northridge President Jolene Koester called Piper's death a "grievous loss for the entire campus community."
"No one exhibited greater devotion to the success and well-being of students," she said in a statement to the campus community.
She said that during Piper's tenure, he re-shaped Northridge's Division of Student Affairs to align it with the most current thinking and practices of the student affairs and services disciplines. "This progressive approach placed the focus of the division's mission and priorities on students and student learning, and aligned its focus on the students' work in the classroom, the university's instructional mission and the totality of the academic and college experience."
"I have learned during my experiences in higher education leadership that a vice president may have responsibility for one area, but those vice presidents who truly excel are those who understand and assume the perspective of the whole university," Koester said. "Dr. Piper became this kind of vice president, and his leadership, contributions, knowledge and friendship were respected and valued across the campus."
Koester appointed Piper vice president for student affairs in January of 2001. Prior to joining the Cal State Northridge community, he had been assistant vice president for student life at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for more than six years. Prior to that, he was director of residential life at the university. His other previous experience included appointments at the University of Iowa and Ohio State University. He began his professional career as a residence hall director and area coordinator at Ohio State University.
Piper earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Pennsylvania State University, a master's in college student development and higher education from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from Ohio State University.
Keeping true to his commitment to education and scholarship, Piper held a faculty appointment in the California State University, Northridge's Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling and regularly taught classes during the academic year. He was widely respected in his field, and his innovations and ideas—such as a residence hall community standards model—have been widely adopted across the nation. He published and presented his work extensively, and was a national leader in his field.
Piper is survived by his wife, Carolyn, daughter, Dana, and son, Matthew.
A university memorial service will be held on Monday, May 17, at 2 p.m. on the Manzanita Hall Lawn near the southwest corner of the campus near Nordhoff Street and Etiwanda Avenue. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Terry D. Piper Endowment at California State University, Northridge.
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