Notices sorted by graduation date.
Ruth Sacks Caplin of Chevy Chase, Md., died Aug. 5, 2014. She balanced motherhood and her passion for the arts with active careers in painting, fashion design and family therapy. In 1951, Ms. Caplin and her family moved from New York City to Charlottesville. When Charlottesville public schools were closed during the massive resistance movement of 1950, Ms. Caplin and other mothers organized an effort to keep makeshift classes in session and taught school classes from their own homes. During that time, Ms. Caplin taught dance, music and art from her basement, and designed and sewed costumes for and directed various plays. She and her family later moved to Washington, D.C., where she helped create the Hospitality and Information Service for Diplomats, organized at the request of the chief of protocol of the United States to help new diplomats and their families adjust to life in the United States. Ms. Caplin also produced children’s theater programs in the Washington, D.C., public schools, and supported other dance and theater programs throughout the city. Writing was one of her favorite hobbies, and in the early 2000s, she adapted the novel Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont into a screenplay for a critically acclaimed 2005 film release. The University’s new Ruth Caplin Theatre was named to honor her lifelong advocacy for the arts. Survivors include her husband, Mortimer Caplin (Col ’37, Law ’40 L/M); a daughter; sons Lee Caplin (Law ’72), Michael Caplin (Law ’76) and Jeremy Caplin (Grad ’80); and eight grandchildren, including Daniel A. Caplin (Col ’12 L/M). Memorial contributions may be made to the Caplin Guest Artist Endowment Fund, c/o University Advancement, University of Virginia, Box 400807, Charlottesville, VA 22904.
Bernard D. Mayes of San Francisco died Oct. 23, 2014. A broadcast journalist and entertainer who went on to become the first chairman of National Public Radio and serve as assistant dean of U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences, he began his career as a high school teacher of Latin, Greek and history before becoming ordained as an Anglican priest. Mr. Mayes moved from England to the United States in 1958 and became a worker-priest and director of a student house attached to Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village and New York University. He held a small parish in the Episcopal Diocese of California, and founded San Francisco Suicide Prevention, the first suicide hotline in the U.S. He was also a broadcast journalist and entertainer. Beginning in 1958, he worked as a journalist for the BBC and other networks, and in 1968, Mr. Mayes helped organize the public broadcast system in the United States, becoming first the founder of KQED-FM and executive vice president of KQED TV in San Francisco, then a co-founding and first working chairman of NPR. He later served as a consultant for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. He was also a radio dramatist, contributing scripts and performances to various projects, and making frequent appearances in Eric Bauerseld’s The Black Mass series of dramatic adaptations for Berkeley’s KPFA station. In 1984, Mr. Mayes was invited to join the English faculty at U.Va. He lived in Charlottesville for 20 years, serving as assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, as chair of the communications department, and later founded the school’s media studies program. He was also active in the Washington Literary Society and Debating Union and the James Madison Society. Continuing the activism he had begun in San Francisco, Mr. Mayes co-founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Faculty, Staff and Graduate Student Association at the University, also known as UVA Pride. He was awarded the Sullivan/Harrison Award for mentoring and received a commendation by the Seven Society. On his retirement from U.Va. in 1999, the Serpentine Society established the Bernard Mayes Award, which recognizes an alumna or alumnus’ positive contributions to LGBTQ causes within the U.Va. community and beyond. He later served as an LGBTQ voice for seniors, joining organizations and giving press interviews about the challenges faced by LGBTQ elders. His autobiography, Escaping God’s Closet: The Revelations of a Queer Priest received the Lambda Literary Award for Religion and Spirituality. Survivors include his many close friends all over the world. Memorial contributions may be made to the Serpentine Society, c/o the Alumni Association, P.O. Box 400314, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4314.
Sherri King O’Connor of Charlottesville died Sept. 7, 2014. She was the managing director of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. In that role, she was responsible for investments focused on credit and marketable alternatives, managing fixed income and risk management strategies, and, as a member of UVIMCO’s investment committee, worked closely with team members to assess portfolio and investment risks. Prior to joining UVIMCO, she worked for 14 years in various fixed-income roles on Wall Street, beginning her career with CreditSuisse and later working at Bear Stearns, JP Morgan and Stifel Nicolaus. Ms. O’Connor was also passionate about nonprofit work in education and with underprivileged youth, and served on the board of directors of New Heights Youth Inc., a nonprofit educational organization based in New York City. She loved to laugh with friends and spend time with her three children. Survivors include her husband, Patrick J. O’Connor (Com ’96 L/M), and their three children; her mother; her father; a brother; a sister; and four nieces and nephews.