When the LMU community gathered to celebrate the life of Pam Rector ’77, M.A. ’79, M.A. Ed. ’82 on Feb. 24, 2020, Sacred Heart Chapel was found to be too small. Students, alumni, staff, faculty and friends filled all floor and balcony pews. Even standing room was in short supply, with many outside at the doors. Tears and grief poured forth after Pam’s passing because she touched so many. And, because she touched so many, tributes flowed as well. This past spring, LMU launched a fundraising effort to name the Center for Service and Action, which Pam directed for 20 years, in her honor. We share here some of the tributes to Pam that have appeared in many LMU communication channels. — The Editor
When I think about my most memorable experiences at LMU, a great majority of them involve Pam Rector. I worked at the Center for Service and Action for my entire four years at LMU. Pam was my home away from home, and the Center for Service and Action was the compass that directed me to my vocation. Together, the two inspired me to live a life that is both joyful and full of purpose.
Lauren Lewis Brown ’06
The Center for Service and Action and the experiences it provides for
students are really what separates LMU from any other university. Pam Rector’s CSA helped me (and I am sure many others) so much in my career and life. Pam deserves this recognition and then some!
Mark Ballinger ’18
La Puente, California
‘GET OFF YOUR BLUFF’
If you knew Pam, you know she often said community-based work and partnership-building can’t happen unless we “got off our bluff.” Living a life of purpose was a central part of her being. She was inspiring.
Lorena Chavez ’99
Pam’s bigger-than-life personality, family-oriented spirit, sensitivity to the needs of others, thirst for justice and inclusivity, and her continual striving for excellence are all qualities that I admired when I worked with her at CSA. She mentored me with an open heart and candid perspective. She was real. The Pam Rector Center for Service and Action makes sense. It’s a tribute to her unwavering love for her students, LMU and the global community.
Cristina Cuellar ’04, M.A. ’09
IT’S ABOUT GRATITUDE
Pam was a mentor to me and many others. I was a work study student in the office, and Pam loved me and supported me at a time when I was probably not easy to love and support. But every day she showed up. I have been blessed to return to CSA as a professional staff member and learn from Pam from a different angle. She taught me creative problem-solving. She made sure I knew community was what we valued above all else. And while she was sick, she had our team focus on gratitude because she thought it an important theme even amidst her struggles. I miss her humor, her late-night emails and the cards signed with the heart she would draw. I miss her love most of all.
Patrick Furlong ’06
Director, LMU Center for Service and Action
LEGACY OF MENTORING
I knew Pam before she came back to LMU when she was a counselor in the Lennox School District. She was always dedicated to service to underserved communities. She was also an amazing mentor to students and colleagues. Her sometimes irreverence was often due to speaking truth to power. We were friends for many years, and we collaborated on many projects. She is greatly missed.
Professor, LMU School of Education
Pam Rector inspired me to be bolder, wiser, to love more deeply and more fully, and to live life out loud! Her absence from our LMU campus community and our Angeleno community is felt, but the lessons she taught us and the love she gave us all so freely remain strong and steady.
Monique Mansour ’12
I will miss Pam’s laugh, her ability and willingness to call BS when she saw it, and our late-night emails recapping the day or just being silly. Pam was a perfect balance for me. I am hopelessly optimistic, and she had a beautiful and often blunt way of making sure I was grounded with my feet firmly placed in reality.
Anthony Garrison-Engbrecht M.A. ’15