In Memoriam: Catherine Hutto Gordon

Catherine (r) with sister Eileen.

Warm, kind, generous, and inspiring presence are just some of the ways that GSE faculty remember Catherine Hutto Gordon, a longtime champion of the Graduate School of Education whose family foundation established the Jerome A. Hutto Chair in Elementary Education, and the Jerome A. Hutto Fellowship. Catherine passed away on February 8, 2021, at the age of 69. 

Along with her sister Eileen, Catherine was a member of the GSE Dean’s Advisory Board, and most recently Catherine served as chair. Catherine supported educational causes across the country, but UC Berkeley had a special place in her heart. From her years as a child swimming at Strawberry Canyon pool, to her time as a Cal student, and later as a member of the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees, Berkeley was Catherine's second family. 

Her father Jerome Hutto earned his EdD from the GSE in 1960, and Catherine later earned her master's degree in 1973 from Berkeley's School of Social Welfare, where she was also active as an Advisory Board member and established two chairships, the Hutto-Patterson Charitable Foundation Chair in Child and Family Studies; and the Catherine Mary and Eileen Clare Hutto Chair for Social Services in Public Education. Also at Berkeley, Catherine served on the Advisory Board of the Goldman School of Public Policy. She was most recently head of the Hutto-Patterson Charitable Foundation, which supported a variety of schools and nonprofits serving children. She is survived by her husband Daniel W. Baker; her sister Eileen C. Hutto; and extended family members, including seven grandchildren. 

Generous, Kind Soul

Our community lost a most generous, kind soul with the transition of Catherine Hutto Gordon.  Catherine had a deep love and admiration for her alma mater and for education and social work, especially when it comes to the well-being of children. My fondest memories of her are our phone discussions about developmental issues among young children. She encouraged me as a mother and educator and would send me articles occasionally to read and discuss.

Catherine cared, and she was committed. I will always cherish her strong support of the GSE and even my leadership. She chaired the deans' advisory group, brought creative ideas to the table, and assisted us with a successful recruitment of our new Development Director. May her memory be a blessing for all whose lives she touched. I am deeply grateful that our paths crossed in this life.

-- Prudence L. Carter, Dean

Forever a Golden Bear

Commitment to Education

I have very fond memories of the time I spent with Catherine when she served on my Dean’s Advisory Board. She was such a warm and inspiring presence, and was committed to helping us create more robust connections between the Graduate School of Education and the School of Social Welfare. I was thrilled when she and her sister Eileen endowed the Jerome A. Hutto Chair in Elementary Education. 

-- Judith Warren Little, former GSE Dean


Catherine really struck me as a very warm and generous person. She had a deep commitment to education and young children's development. This chair was one way in which she enacted that.

I suspect she didn't anticipate someone whose scholarly research focused on moral development to hold her family’s chair but when I talked about the whole child, she had no hesitancy about it at all. She certainly had a good moral sense herself and could appreciate my work on that aspect of children's development – that moral and civic education are important components of learning. We had good conversations, and I remember she was quite savvy in our discussions about morality and moral development.

-- Elliot Turiel, former Interim Dean
Jerome A. Hutto Chair in Elementary Education