January 19, 2005


Dear Colleagues:

I am deeply saddened to share with you that our colleague and friend John L. MacPherson, Jr. (better known to many of us as “Mac”) passed away at his home on January 14. He had been with the UCSB family for 33 years as an officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and Chief of Police.  

Chief MacPherson will be remembered for his many extraordinary accomplishments. He began his law enforcement career serving as an MP in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. After three years at the Salinas Police Department, John came to UC Santa Barbara in 1970, becoming a sergeant in 1973 and a lieutenant in 1978. He then transferred to the UC Davis Police Department. John returned to the UC Santa Barbara Police Department in 1979. He was appointed the Acting Chief of Police in 1985 and Chief of Police in 1987. John retired as Chief of the UCSB Police Department in early 2004.

John was always “student friendly.” He brought sensitivity, respect, and sound judgment to every challenge he faced during his tenure here. In the face of any difficult situation, he was a calming force. We were fortunate to have his leadership and guidance of our Police Department. John was well liked by our students, highly respected by his colleagues, and loved by his friends. He will be greatly missed.

His memorial service will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2005. The details are listed below.

Hospitality and remembrance hour, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Funeral service with full police honors, 11:00 a.m.
First Presbyterian Church
21 East Constance Avenue

Interment ceremonies with full police honors following services
Santa Barbara Cemetery
901 Channel Drive

In lieu of flowers, the MacPherson family has established a scholarship in his name. If you wish to make a contribution, please make it payable to the UC Regents, with an annotation directing it to The John L. MacPherson, Jr. Scholarship Fund, and mail it to:

Development Office
Attention: CFO
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2013

John’s lasting legacy here at UCSB is his dedication to the safety and well-being of our students and all the members of our campus community. Our hearts go out to his wife, Cindy, and his sons, Matthew and Brian. We are grateful to them for sharing John with us for so many years.


Henry T. Yang