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Kenneth Beauchamp, emertus professor of psychology

Kenneth Beauchamp, emeritus professor of psychology, passed away May 15. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. in Morris Chapel on Tuesday, May 29.

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Pacific mourns passing of emeritus psychology professor Kenneth Beauchamp

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. in Morris Chapel on Tuesday, May 29.
May 15, 2018

Emeritus Psychology Professor Kenneth Beauchamp passed away at home on Tuesday, May 15, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Ken joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology in the College of the Pacific in 1969 and taught at Pacific for nearly 40 years.

During his tenure he served as department chair and was the acting dean of the College of the Pacific from 1974-76, but his true love was in teaching. He was a teacher, mentor, friend, advocate, and leader — a great listener and adviser. He engaged students actively in the process of instruction and was well ahead of his time in using active learning strategies and methods to help students achieve long-term retention of the material. His energetic teaching style was legendary, and his courses were extremely rigorous and demanding, yet students admired and appreciated him. He was a true mentor — recognizing and encouraging the talent he saw in others. He was highly supportive of undergraduate research and applied experiences and personally supervised many students in these endeavors. He enjoyed helping students and always carried a significant number of advisees. Students often requested him as their adviser.

He was recognized for his teaching and mentoring in 1986 with the Faye and Alex Spanos Teaching Award and again in 2011 with the Pacific Alumni Association Faculty Mentor Award, which recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a significant commitment to mentoring students and alumni.  

Ken was also active in university leadership and made important contributions on numerous faculty and university-wide committees through the years. He contributed a vast amount of research in his field of developmental psychology and was active in numerous professional organizations. He was instrumental in overseeing the well-being and growth of the Community Re-entry Program (CRP), which provides services for individuals with severe mental illness. He was admired by all who knew him. He was able to give sage advice on almost any topic, but never flaunted his knowledge and did not need to be praised to know his value and his role. He was willing to help when able but did not need to be involved in all the details and could be counted on for an honest, straight-forward opinion.

He also was an enthusiastic supporter of Pacific athletics, serving for a number of years on Pacific's Athletic Advisory Board and as Faculty Representative at the conference and NCAA levels. He and his wife, Judy, were supporters of men's and women's basketball and volleyball. They could also be counted on to be at their grandson's youth sports events.  

Throughout his years at Pacific, a favorite part of Ken's day was playing noon basketball in the old gym with colleagues, students and alumni — people who loved basketball as much as he did and understood "the mystery of the game."  The interaction on the basketball court helped him form and maintain friendships across the university and stay abreast of and involved in university affairs. He was happy and proud when his grandson Nicholas was able to join the noon-ball group.

At his retirement in 2007, he received the Order of Pacific, the University's highest award for distinguished service.  After retiring, Ken helped oversee the psychology department's transition through retirements and new hires from longtime faculty that had been together more than 30 years to a new group of faculty in a manner that maintained stability and strength in the department. Ken was a main source of wisdom and council for newer faculty, even after his retirement, and continued to serve Pacific working with former President Don DeRosa and former Vice President for Student Life Elizabeth Griego on initiatives involving social and emotional competency. 

Born in Madera, California to Harold and Evelyn Beauchamp, he was the older brother to Bob (Karen), Bonnie (Le Phan), and Joe. He spent his early years on his family's small dairy farm in Denair, California, and his high school years in Sandpoint, Idaho. He earned his bachelor's degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where he met his wife Judy, and his master's and doctorate in experimental psychology at Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.

He was a man with great integrity and dedication, a loving husband to wife Judy, an awesome father to Karen (Jim Jensen) and Geoffrey, proud grandfather of Nicholas and a besotted owner of two golden retrievers, Ceili and Misty. 

His family has appreciated the outpouring of love and support from colleagues and friens and invites family, friends, colleagues and former students to a Celebration of Life at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, at Morris Chapel on the Stockton Campus of University of the Pacific. A reception will follow in Grace Covell Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests those who wish to honor his memory may donate to any of his favorite causes, including Pacific women's athletics, the Pacific Psychology Department Gipson Fund supporting student travel to conferences and symposiums, NorCal Golden Retrievers Rescue, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Bowmer Fund supporting student education in theatre.

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