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Birk Hinderaker Dies

Wife of former UC Riverside Chancellor Dies

Birk Hinderaker, Wife of Longest Serving Chancellor, Ivan Hinderaker, Dies
After Suffering Heart Problems

(June 20, 2003)

Birk and Ivan Hinderaker in 1998

Birk and Ivan Hinderaker in 1998

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — (— Birk Hinderaker, the wife of Ivan Hinderaker, the longest serving UC Riverside Chancellor, died at her home in Corona del Mar on Thursday evening, June 19. She had been suffering severe heart problems the past six months. She was 87 years old.

Mrs. Hinderaker was born Aug. 17, 1915. She and Ivan were married on June 7, 1944, celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary a week ago. They met at the University of Minnesota where Birk received her undergraduate degree. Mrs. Hinderaker did graduate work in personnel and psychology at the University of Minnesota, worked for the Minnesota Taxpayers' Association, and briefed bills in the legislature. She worked in the War Manpower Commission and later, when Ivan was at UCLA, she taught self-improvement classes for women at the Hollywood and Los Angeles YMCAs.

Mrs. Hinderaker was an accomplished poet and a champion and supporter of the arts while at UC Riverside. She and son Mark collaborated on much of her published poetry — Birk providing the poetry and Mark the photography — which complemented her work. At UC Riverside, she highlighted local artists in the Chancellor's residence and encouraged them to display their art.

Mrs. Hinderaker hosted events to support the arts on campus and in the community. She was a strong advocate for the UC Riverside/California Museum of Photography and the Carillon Tower on campus. She also promoted opportunities for women in the arts, and it was largely through her efforts that the Chancellor's Performance Awards were established in the fine and performing arts in 1976-77. It was Mrs. Hinderaker who conceptualized the UCR Affiliates, which brought together campus and community friends to support UC Riverside.

Those who knew the Hinderakers recognized them as a couple that did everything together. They returned to their Corona del Mar home following Ivan’s retirement from UC Riverside in 1979. They enjoyed taking brisk walks along the ocean or golfing together until very recently. Mrs. Hinderaker loved to garden and spend time with friends, many of whom had ties to UC Riverside.

There will be no formal service, but the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to the UCR Foundation to support the UC Riverside Carillon Tower fund. Mrs. Hinderaker is survived by her husband Ivan, son Mark and grandson Blake. Mark and Blake Hinderaker live in Australia.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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