Faith Harder, widow of former UCSB Director of Athletics Theodore “Spud” Harder, died Wednesday at the age of 99.
Harder moved to Santa Barbara with her husband in 1934 when he took the positions of Director of Athletics, football and baseball coach. She was a member of the Faculty Women’s Club and volunteered at Cottage Hospital in her spare time.
According to John Keever, chairman of the Gaucho Order, Harder was a devoted wife and assisted her husband throughout his tenure at UCSB.
“I think for every great leader, there always has to be a great partner that helps them along the way,” Keever said. “Faith was that great partner in his life as a leader at UCSB.”
Riley Jimison, a fourth-year global studies major and great-grandson of Faith and Theodore, said Harder loved spending time with her family and members of the campus community.
“Faith was a wonderful woman who was very generous to me and the rest of her grandchildren,” Jimison said. “I will always remember how she loved having her family around during the holidays, how she missed Spud through all the years and how UCSB always remained close to her heart.”
Harder Stadium was known as Campus Stadium until renamed in honor of Theodore in 1981. The stadium has a 17,000 seat capacity, making it the largest stadium in the Central Coast. It will host the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Cup for the first time on December 10th.
According to Steve O’Brien, Associate Athletics Director, the Harders left behind a legacy that will continue to grow within the department.
“The construction of Harder Stadium was significant for the campus. So too are the improvements that have been made in preparation for the College Cup,” O’Brien said. “In some ways you could say that the Harders built a foundation for UCSB athletics that is now being expanded upon by our current programs, coaches and student-athletes.”
The Harders were also ardent supporters of university athletics. O’Brien said the couple made significant financial contributions to the university throughout their lifetimes.
“The Harder family has supported a number of different parts of the university financially, most notably the Athletics Department and the construction of the Mosher Alumni House,” O’Brien said.
Family members have requested that memorial gifts be sent to The Gaucho Fund in support of The Gaucho Order.