Alice Chandler, University employee for more than 75 years, 1918-2011

University Communications

Update: "Remembering Alice: A Celebration of the Life of Alice Chandler" will be held on Wednesday, June 15, at 4:30pm in the Cloister Club of Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. A reception will follow at 5:30pm, also in the Cloister Club.

Alice Chandler, a widely treasured colleague, whose University career of more than 75 years included serving as the office manager for the President and Provost’s offices, died Thursday, May 12 at the age of 93.

Chandler, a native of Chicago, began working for the University at the age of 16, after she graduated from high school.

“Alice has been a vital part of the President’s office and this institution for generations,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “Her quiet and unshakeable dedication to the University inspired all who worked with her, and is one of many gifts she has left to us. We will miss her deeply.”

In recognition of her dedication, the annual staff service recognition ceremony will be named the Alice W. Chandler Staff Service Recognition Ceremony.

“She was very devoted to her work,” said Ingrid Gould, Associate Provost for Faculty and Student Affairs. “She knew how to do everything. There just wasn’t any problem that flummoxed her.”

Gould said Chandler routinely arrived at the office by 7am and drove herself to work, even in her later years. She described Chandler as the consummate caretaker, a “mother hen” who cared deeply about solving the problems of people, inside and outside the workplace.

“There were people whom she adopted temporarily,” said Gould. “She was there to get your life on track through the way she lived. She was a shining example of how to live well, how to build a community, how to care about people.”

Chandler loved to travel and go on cruises with her late husband, her son and her daughter-in-law. Her noontime routine included crossword puzzles, which she would squeeze into the morning if she had a lunch scheduled. She also loved cats and had a soft spot for strays.

“People just gravitated to her,” said Gould, who added that Chandler embraced life.

“She would say, ‘I have had a wonderful life. I did not wait to live.’ “

The Alice Chandler Staff Service Recognition Ceremony will be held Tuesday,  June 14.