Today@UCI Home University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service
 
   Search Tips   
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Contact University Communications | UCI Home
Home
Calendar
Newsroom
• Zot!Wire
• Press Releases
• Tipsheets
• Experts
• UCI in the News
• Healthcare News
Special Reports & Spotlights
• Arts & Humanities
• Campus Life
• Education
• Environment & Energy
• Health & Medicine
• Science & Business
• Society & Culture
Quick Facts
• Economic Impact
• Distinctions
• Fact Sheets
• Statistics & Reports
Resources
• Publications
• Graphic Identity
• Style Guide
• Meet the Media
Chancellor's Site
Emergency Readiness
Home > News > Press Releases & Media Advisories > Press Release

UC Irvine's first employee, L.E. Cox, dies at 94


Memorial service for the man who built UCI set for Friday


Irvine, Calif., August 28, 2008

Lavonne Edwin Cox, the first employee of UC Irvine, died Tuesday, Aug. 26, from complications of a fall. He was 94.

Better known as L.E. Cox, the former army engineer was the first vice chancellor of business and finance. His job: To oversee the $30 million campus construction.

“He was very proud of being the first employee at UC Irvine,” said his son, Allan Cox, adding that his father remained in touch with many of his friends from the early days on campus.

“He was a meticulous man, who believed in following rules and regulations,” recalled Jean Aldrich, widow of UCI’s first chancellor, Daniel Aldrich. “Nothing escaped him. He was the very first person hired for UCI by (then-UC president) Clark Kerr – before Dan. He was a very important man on campus and a friend.”

Suzanne Peltason, a family friend and wife of UCI’s second chancellor, Jack Peltason, called him efficient and low-key. “He was a military man with courtly bearing,” she said.

Cox, who had helped build 24 air bases for the Army Corps of Engineers, arrived at the future site of UCI in 1961 driving a station wagon stuffed with office supplies. He set up his desk in a second-floor bedroom of the Irvine Ranch house, which was located across Irvine Boulevard from The Irvine Company’s agricultural headquarters. The family home became an eclectic mix of its cowboy past and its high-tech future.

“The bunkhouse lunches were almost an institution,” said Raymond Watson, vice president of The Irvine Company at the time, who worked downstairs from Cox. “Everyone wanted to be there. Nixon came by, and Ford…. There were lots of ranch hands, but only 10 of us working on the planning side.”

Cox continued to oversee building, landscaping and other facilities projects at UCI until his retirement in 1978. He made his home in Tustin. He is survived by his wife, Edna; sons Allan and Stephen; and four grandchildren. 

A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Saddleback Chapel, 220 E. Main St., Tustin.
     
    
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 2,000 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.6 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. The use of this line is available free-of-charge to radio news programs/stations who wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.


Lavonne Edwin Cox Lavonne Edwin Cox

Related Links

Contact

Cathy Lawhon
949-824-1151
clawhonl@uci.edu

Archives

Aug. 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
Feb. 2014
Jan. 2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
UCI Home
A Service of University Communications © Copyright 2002-2009 UC Regents