An Exceptional Woman
Submitted by Reed Buffington
Board trustee Dorothy Hudgins was elected just seven years after
Chabot College opened, the first woman to serve in that capacity.
Many people believe her to be the best trustee the district has ever
had. When she died in May of 2009, Founding President Reed
Buffington made the following remarks at her memorial service.
Dorothy Hudgins was an exceptional woman and trustee. Picture her
arrival as a newly elected trustee in 1967. She joined six men,
three of whom were major players in the formation of the college
district, all of whom had been through the establishment of a
temporary campus, two bond elections, site selection, the creation
of a master plan, the construction of an entire college campus and
the development of a growing, functional educational program. Her
reception was cordial but guarded. Some board members addressed her
as "dearie" or "honey" but she did not blink! She remained calm and
pleasant. Her participation was reasoned and analytical based on
careful preparation for each meeting. Before long her acceptance was
clear. She was elected President of the board in 1973.
As a board member Dorothy evidenced her strong background of
education, business experience and a CORO fellowship. She was
determined but not combative, Her questions were relevant. Her
positions were clearly stated. It was evident she had done her
homework for each meeting.
Dorothy made friends with many faculty and staff. It strengthened
her ties to the college and her understandings of its mission. At
the same time, Dorothy never permitted her role as trustee to cross
that fine line between friendship and responsibility.
Not surprisingly, Dorothy was a strong advocate for the development
of a campus at the valley site in Livermore. Her efforts, with the
support of fellow trustees, culminated in the completion of
construction and the opening of classes at the Valley Campus in
March of 1975. A major achievement.
Thousands of students have benefited from Dorothy's devoted and
excellent service as a trustee. She was truly exceptional.
Return to Table of Contents