E. Leslie "Les" Medford Jr., emeritus dean of admission, passed away June 21, 2014. He was 96.
Pacific bids farewell to Les MedfordA beloved member of the Pacific community, Emeritus Dean of Admissions Les Medford passed away on Saturday, June 21.
E. Leslie Medford Jr., emeritus dean of admissions, was born May 10, 1918, and passed away on Saturday, June 21, a few weeks after his 96th birthday. With his passing, Pacific bids farewell to one of the most beloved and devoted members of the University community. He will be greatly missed.
Medford's love for Pacific was evident in his daily visits to the campus, either in official capacity or visiting friends and colleagues. His service and commitment to Pacific was recognized at Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony in 2010 when he became only the third individual to receive the Pacific Alumni Association's Honorary Alumni Award.
"Les was a mentor, friend and role model to generations of Pacificans," said President Pamela A. Eibeck. "His commitment to Pacific knew no bounds. We are deeply grateful for the rich and lasting legacy he leaves within the University and our community. Most of all, we will miss seeing his warm smile here on campus every day."
Medford was a native of Annapolis, Md. He graduated in 1939 from St. John's College, where he played lacrosse and basketball and was recognized as a Lacrosse All-American.
Prior to coming to Pacific, Medford retired in 1961 from a 22-year career with the United States Marine Corps where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During World War II, he served in the Pacific theatre in Western Samoa and Pearl Harbor, where he met and married his wife, Marie. His final duty position was at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he was the instructor for amphibious landings.
Medford joined Pacific as Assistant Dean of Admissions in May 1962. He became Dean of Admissions in 1974, a position he held until his retirement in 1988. At his retirement, he was awarded the Order of Pacific, the University's highest honor.
He was also active in professional organizations, including serving on the executive board of the California Articulation Council and the Western Region of the College Board, and on the selection committee of the National Merit Scholarship Program. He received the Exemplar Award of the Western Region of the College Board in 1986 for his distinguished service to higher education and the Outstanding Service Award from the Western Association of College Admission Counselors (WACAC) in 1988.
After retirement, he served as an advisor in the School of International Studies and has volunteered his time in a number of capacities over the years. He was the founding president of the emeriti society and continued to be active with the group over the years.
Les Medford was chosen by Pacific students to serve as grand marshall at the 2013 Homecoming Parade.
He and his wife, Marie, have been longtime supporters of Pacific, and in 2010 established the Les and Marie Medford Endowed Scholarship to support undergraduate students with financial need. Most recently, Medford was chosen by the students as the Grand Marshall at the 2013 Homecoming parade.
In addition to University service, Medford was a faithful member of Central United Methodist Church and supported museums, athletics, musical organizations, and numerous additional local and national charitable causes.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marie; daughter Virginia "Ginny" Suzanne Medford '80 COP, '98 EDU, and son Leslie David Medford; grand-daughters Lillian Claire and Sovay; adopted sons Chinh, Khoi, Quang Vu and their families; sister Virginia Dean and niece Marcia Enquist.
A memorial service, open to the public, will be held Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church in Stockton.
The family has indicated that those who wish may make donations in honor of Les to Hospice of San Joaquin, Central United Methodist Church, or to any worthy charitable organization of your choice. Contributions may also be made in his memory to the Les and Marie Medford Endowed Scholarship at University of the Pacific.