In Memoriam: Peggy Downes Baskin, 1930-2023

Peggy Downes Baskin, an educator and philanthropist, died at her home of December 11. She was 93 years old.

A native of Seattle, Dr. Baskin was a graduate of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Later in life, Baskin attended the Claremont Graduate School of Public Policy, where she received a Ph.D. in the early 1980s. She went on to work as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Berkeley, and for 18 years was a professor of political science at Santa Clara University, specializing in the study of the United States presidency, elections, and presidential management styles. She spent five years at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a senior lecturer on women and politics and women in power.

Dr. Baskin and her husband, Jack, who was a prominent real estate developer in California, established the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation in 2008 to provide financial support for gender equality and increased access to education for marginalized communities in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. The foundation funded the Baskin Feminist Scholars Program and the Baskin Scholars Program in Engineering to support the transfer of community college students to the University of California, Santa Cruz; supported the Center for Racial Justice; underwrote fellowships for female doctoral students in engineering; and funded the summer Girls in Engineering program. In 2016, the foundation established the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Presidential Chair for Feminist Studies, which funds research and teaching, as well as provides support for graduate fellowships.

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