Skip to content
Long-time University of the Pacific supporter, a pillar in the community, and the matriarch of the Spanos family Faye Spanos has died at the age of 92.

Alex and Faye Spanos generously supported Pacific students over the years with their philanthropy. Faye Spanos died Tuesday evening.

  • Print
Pacific News

Pacific mourns passing of Faye Spanos

University champion, family matriarch was driving force behind family's philanthropy
Aug 8, 2018

Long-time University of the Pacific supporter, a pillar in the community, and the matriarch of the Spanos family Faye Spanos has died at the age of 92.

The wife of Alex G. Spanos '48 and for whom the Faye Spanos Concert Hall is named, Mrs. Spanos was known for her kindness, grace and deep devotion to her church and family and for being the driving force behind the family's philanthropy that has generously supported Pacific students over the years and earned the couple a place of honor on Pacific's Gallery of Benefactors.

Her name derives from the Greek word for "light" and in her honor the exterior lights of the Conservatory will be turned on each  evening for the next week.

"Faye Spanos was a woman of grace and compassion who generously gave of herself to her family, to her church and to her community," Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck said. "She believed in University of the Pacific and our students, and through her philanthropy and kindness, she touched the lives of a multitude of Pacificans. I feel blessed to have known Faye Spanos."

One of the most prominent and iconic buildings on Pacific's Stockton Campus - considered by many to be the "heart" of the campus, much as Faye Spanos was the heart of the family - is the 872-seat Faye Spanos Concert Hall built in 1924-25 in English Tudor Gothic style. Alex Spanos was a major contributor to its renovation in the 1980s. Pacific's Board of Regents in 1987 honored Faye Spanos for her commitment to Pacific by renaming the hall after her.

"When Alex was approached with the idea of naming the concert hall after Faye, he loved the idea of honoring her that way," said Carl Nosse, dean of the Conservatory in the 1980s. "When the renovation was finished, she stopped by frequently and sometimes brought friends by to see the building. She cherished it."

A dedication of the renamed hall was held May 2, 1987, and Bob Hope, Telly Savalas, Diahann Carroll and Vic Damone performed.

The Faye Spanos Concert Hall is where we've greeted thousands of new Pacific students during festive Convocations, enjoyed outstanding concerts and operas presented by our students, and have hosted many community performances, such as the Kennedy Center performances for Stockton school children. The building has also appeared in several Hollywood films, including "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

"Thanks to the insight and generosity of the Spanos family, Faye Spanos will always be celebrated at the heart of our campus, Pacific's concert hall," said Conservatory Dean Peter Witte. "It's a space where the arts and community are celebrated, and it is a lasting tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Spanos' commitment to arts, culture and philanthropy."

The couple's four children honored their parents in 1974 for their 25th wedding anniversary by establishing the Alex and Faye Spanos Endowed Teaching Award Fund, which recognizes a College of the Pacific faculty member who exemplifies Pacific's commitment to teaching excellence and concern for student achievement. The award goes to a College of the Pacific faculty member who has gone beyond teaching in the classroom by advising, directing research, supervising laboratories, and mentoring students and new faculty members.

"The Faye and Alex Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award is the highest honor a member of the college's faculty can receive," said College of the Pacific Dean Rena Fraden. "We honored our 44th faculty member, biology's Lisa Wrischnik, at commencement this year thanks to the award established by the Spanos family."

The Faye Spanos Endowed Scholarship was established in 1987 and is awarded each year to 10 Conservatory students.

The Spanos family in September 2017 gave the university a $1 million gift for improvements and upgrades to the Alex G. Spanos Center, which has been home to Pacific's basketball and volleyball teams and community events since 1981.

As recently as this summer, the A.G. Spanos Cos. gave $100,000 to support Pacific students who qualified for the Stockton Scholars Endowed Fund, a scholarship program initiated by Mayor Michael Tubbs that aims to triple the number of Stockton students who enter and graduate from college.

Alex and Faye Spanos were married on Aug. 22, 1948, when he was in the Air Force stationed in Florida. A bank loan was the foundation upon which the couple built a billion-dollar business that included catering, residential construction and a collection of other businesses, and ownership of the Los Angeles Chargers.

For their special service and outstanding contributions over the years, the family received the Pacific Alumni Association's Outstanding Family Award in 2002.

Join University of the Pacific on: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Youtube