The officers and members of the Council of UC Emeriti Associations (CUCEA) are saddened by the loss of our colleague and Web Master, Professor Emerita Marjorie Constance Caserio who passed away during a visit to Mexico earlier this month. Marjorie was born in London and had memories of the Second World War and the nightly bombing of her homeland.
Marjorie was awarded a Sir John Dill Fellowship, which allowed her to study at Bryn Mawr in the United States where she earned her MA in Chemistry. She interviewed with Nobel laureate Derek Barton and was accepted to Birbeck College, but without financial aid, she returned to Bryn Mawr where she earned her PhD in 1956. She obtained a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of John D. Roberts at Cal Tech. During the next nine years Roberts and Caserio co-authored the book Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry, which was first published in 1964. The book emphasized a field of growing importance, spectroscopy, and is widely used today in the clinical laboratories at UCSD, according to Dr. David Bailey, Distinguished Professor of Pathology who directed Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology at UCSD and later was Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at UC Irvine.
Marjorie joined the Department of Chemistry at UC Irvine in 1964, becoming one of the founding faculty on a new campus. UCFW Chair Shelley Halpain (UCSD) recalls Marjorie as her undergraduate organic chemistry professor and used 'Roberts and Caserio' as her text. At Irvine, Marjorie was Chair of the Department of Chemistry, the Divisional academic senate and later Chair of the Academic Council. In that capacity she also served as faculty representative to the Board of Regents.
Marjorie was recruited to UCSD to serve as Senior Vice Chancellor in 1990. Professor Robert Horwitz, Chair-Elect of the Academic Council of the UC Senate, remembers working with Marjorie when he served as Chair of the Department of Communications at UC San Diego. After serving as Senior Vice Chancellor for several years she was appointed to serve as Interim Chancellor at UC San Diego. She retired in 1996.
Marjorie Caserio has been a very active and engaged member of CUCEA where she served as Chair in 1999-00, Immediate Past Chair in 2000-01, Information Officer from 2003-04 to 2008-09, and then became Web Master and has kept our members informed about activities at all the UC campuses. Her efforts have been recognized through the Regent Edward Dickson Award from UC San Diego and also by the Revelle medal, the highest recognition from the UCSD Campus. Marjorie's extramural recognition included the Garvan Award from the American Chemical Society in 1975.
Should anyone wish to make a donation in Marjorie Caserio’s memory, the family suggests:
· Duke Cancer Institute at: dukecancerinstitute.org/give. Marjorie’s grandson, Spencer Caserio, was cured of his leukemia. He and his parents lived there for one year while the child (age 3-4) was being treated. He is in college now.
· Make a Wish Foundation at: wish.org. Spencer received $3,000 from Make A Wish, bought cameras with the money and has become an “Ace” photographer according to his grandfather. He still loves photography.
· Shiley Eye Institute, UCSD at: shileyeye.ucsd.edu/
Notice can be sent to Fred Caserio, 32833 Temet, Pauma Valley, CA 92061.