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IN MEMORIAM: Fannie Boyd Dozier

Fannie Boyd Dozier '24, a sweetheart of NAP, Honorary Maggot #3S, born 12 August 1902, passed on 17 June 1996. Brother Zib Zabriskie respectfully submits the following.

This is going to be an old-fashioned story about an old-fashioned college romance involving old-fashioned people in old-fashioned times, a time and world no longer extant, but still in memory redolent with knights on horseback ready to challenge all who would deny the fair graces of their ladies.

Men were gallant, self-disciplined by an unwritten but understood code of conduct, becoming gentlemen, which women expected of them and encouraged by their own codes of dress and decorum.

Fannie Boyd was born in Pasadena on the twelfth of August in 1901, at the beginning of the century. Her life would span years, almost reaching the end of that century. She died in Laguna Hills on the seventeenth of June in 1996.

After graduation from Pasadena High School in 1920, she entered Pomona College, demure, decent, a young lady with considerable charm, with a smile that would beguile any dragon intent on dismemberment.

She came from a family which frowned upon such excesses of physical familiarity as prompted by the fox trot and the waltz. When, in her freshman year, the college broke a long established prohibition by sponsoring the first dance in the history of the college in the old wooden gym (Woodpecker Heaven) which had served as barracks for the WW I military training program at the college, Fannie, true to her family values, shunned the dance and chose instead to attend the non-dance party sponsored by the Claremont Congregational Church in its basement.

Ever the helpful one, Fannie volunteered for the decoration committee. Perched on a ladder, Fannie was engrossed in hanging party decorations when she was startled by a deeply masculine voice inquiring: "May I help you?"

She turned, looked down, and beheld the perfect knight before the perfect queen.

Bob Dozier '23, Nu Alpha Phi maggot #3, was tall, slim, broad-shouldered, and erect in posture. His eye was clear, confident, and kindly. It mirrored the beauty he beheld. Here was the college classic: the handsome sophomore meets the pretty frosh coed.

Fannie became a sweetheart of Nu Alpha Phi. When the fraternity cabin, high on the slope of San Dimas Canyon, on whose construction Bob had valiantly labored, was dedicated on Fraternity Day in 1923, its windows displayed curtains made by Fannie and her good friend and classmate Louise Leonhardt '24, who was the sweetheart of Bob's good friend, Wes Leighton '23, maggot #4.

When Bob graduated in 1923, he was destined for the Harvard Graduate School of Business, but he didn't want to go without Fannie, who still had her senior year to finish. So Bob spent the year after his graduation pumping gas at a station owned by his uncle at the south end of Cahuenga Pass in Hollywood.

Fannie graduated in 1924. She and Bob married and they sailed through the Panama Canal en route to Harvard. There, they joined the several other Nu Alpha Phi alumni in Harvard Schools of Business, Medicine, Chemistry, and Law. There were more NAP alumni at Harvard than from the rest of alumni of Pomona College all put together! Nu Alpha Phi had a Beta chapter at Harvard!

With Bob's MBA in hand, they headed back to California. There, wherever they lived, they were enthusiastic supporters of Pomona College alumni interests and activities Loyal, too, were their ties to the fraternity and the friendships formed therein. These two loyalties had a symbiotic relationship.

On retiring to Laguna Hills to be near their daughters, Bobbie Spurgin and Pat Drew, they continued their support of college and fraternity interests.

And then, finally, there was a serendipitous double celebration of sorts: The college was going to honor Fannie and Bob for their contributions to the college and the fraternity was going to honor them for their contributions leading up to its 75th Anniversary at the same weekend.

On Alumni Day, 1996, Fannie and Bob Dozier were honored with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the first couple to be so honored. The year of the award happened to coincide, as has been noted, with the 75th Anniversary of the founding of Nu Alpha Phi Fraternity. Bob was its oldest living maggot and the last man left of the crew that built the fraternity cabin high on a ledge left by the erosion of the stream in San Dimas Canyon.

For the ceremony at Wash I in Big Bridges, Fannie sat in a wheelchair at the side of the stage. Her white hair, tied in a bun at the back, glistened in the stage light. A pink sweater around her shoulders emphasized the whiteness of her coiffure. With a quiet, gracious smile she looked out at the audience spread before her. To her right, front section, was a rooting section of Nu Alpha Phi members. Everyone in that huge auditorium bonded in the beauty of her smile. What a lovely lady! What a sweetheart!

What was she thinking of, that gracious grad from yesteryear?

Two years before, at the age of 92, she was determined to climb the trail to the cabin, and she did, with help from some awe-struck actives. But now, she sat there, on stage, in a wheelchair. Center stage, at the lectern, Bob was brandishing a cane, won in the fall of 1919, when the freshmen defeated the sophomores in the traditional Pole Rush. Men, maybe Fannie was thinking, are such boastful creatures. Bob was explaining the frosh strategy, which was the exploitation of the strength of a huge class member nick-named "Hercules." He was to secure control at the base of the pole and be the assault slope up which the others would climb. The frosh won with that stratagem and Bob got his cane.

Aye, maybe Fannie was gently musing, men must posture and women must praise. Men built the fraternity cabin, but women made it worthwhile with curtains and, more so, with their presence.

Whatever were her thoughts on that stage as she and Bob were honored, we don't know. The next day, they were honored again by the fraternity at its 75th anniversary Celebration.

Life had been good and crowned in time with tokens of honor and respect. In a few weeks, Fannie would slip away. We would be left with memories of a gracious lady with a smile which was kind and gentle, an old-fashioned lady loyal to family, fraternity, and college, a lady who was asked years ago by maggot #3, "May I help you?"

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