UC Berkeley News


Doris White

30 August 2006

Doris L. White, Supervisor of Physical Education Emeritus, passed away on July 25 following a short illness.


She was born on Aug. 3, 1928, in Yuma, Ariz., where she spent her early childhood before moving with her parents and sister to San Diego. Following graduation from San Diego High School she enrolled at San Diego State College, where she majored in physical education. After earning her B.A. in 1951, she taught for a short time at Roosevelt Junior High School in San Diego before joining the faculty at the University of Alberta, where she remained for four years. She then enrolled at Berkeley, serving as a teaching assistant while completing her master's degree in physical education. Appointed assistant supervisor of physical education, she advanced to full supervisor in 1971.

An outstanding teacher who was greatly admired for her knowledge, wisdom, and many kindnesses, White taught tennis (beginning through advanced), badminton, and other sports to thousands of Berkeley students for 35 years. From 1960 to 1972 she coached the women's tennis team in addition to being responsible for a full load of curricular offerings. (She also coached the co-educational badminton team for several years.) And she served part-time in the School of Education, supervising fifth-year students enrolled in its teacher-education program.

Her numerous contributions to professional organizations included service as president of the Western Society for Physical Education of College Women; vice president of the Section on Girls' and Women's Sports of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; and chair of the international-relations committee of the National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education.

During her long professional career she also served on the National Teacher Examination Content Review Panel of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; as an Education and Safety Core Projects consultant for the California Department of Education; and as a director of the annual Women's Physical Education Workshop for Secondary Teachers. She was president of the Berkeley chapter of Zonta International Service Club for Women, faculty adviser to the local chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, and an active member of St. John's Presbyterian Church.

During the summers, she frequently journeyed to Europe, Egypt, China, Australia, the Galápagos Islands, and elsewhere. An enthusiastic supporter of Cal Performances, the San Francisco Symphony, and other cultural organizations and events, White for more than 30 years regularly attended the full season of annual performances of the San Francisco Opera, and frequently spent part of each summer attending productions of the New York Opera Company with friends. Her love of music brought her to the Diablo Women's Chorale, with which she sang for 13 years.

A memorial event, "Celebrating the Life of Doris L. White," will be held at the Women's Faculty Club on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m.

- Roberta Park

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