Fullerton : Students Plan Memorial to Deceased Professors


A memorial to honor deceased Cal State Fullerton professors and students is expected to be completed by early January, the campus’s student president said Friday.

Tracey Stotz, Associated Students president, said the construction of the memorial, which won final approval earlier in the week by the Associated Students Board of Directors, will be undertaken to honor three professors killed since last year.

Those professors were:

- Alex Odeh, part-time professor of Arabic at the school and director of the California chapter of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, who was killed in a bomb blast in early October.


- Priscilla Oaks, a remedial English professor, who was killed in an automobile accident in late September.

- Edward Lee Cooperman, a physics professor and founder of the U.S. Committee for Scientific Cooperation with Vietnam, who was shot and killed in October, 1984, by a student who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

In addition to the three professors, Stotz said the memorial will also commemorate the suicide deaths of five others, including a 20-year-old student who leaped to her death last month, and three former students. An employee of the school also leaped to his death.

All five suicide victims jumped from the Humanities Building within the past eight years.

Stotz said the idea to construct a memorial was sparked after students who “wanted to remember the professors that they lost” had asked how they could donate money or other gifts to the victims’ families.

Marwan Sbaita, a member of the Associated Students Board of Directors and an associate of Odeh’s, said he was happy with the board’s approval of the $750 allocated for the memorial. Sbaita helped head the drive for a memorial after the death of Oaks. He added, though, that the drive to construct a monument really began last year.

“Every year we face the issue of death and of losing somebody who served the community at Cal State Fullerton,” Sbaita said. “The issue started last semester, actually, when Ed Cooperman got killed and people were shocked.”


The monument, Stotz said, is expected to stand about seven feet high, to be made from metal or aluminum material and have an assortment of colors. She added that the base of the memorial will be designed so that people can place such items as flowers, cards and wreaths on it.