Beloved URP professor emerita Margarita McCoy died on March 31, 2016 at age 92. Margarita was a pioneer for women in the urban planning field. She was one of the first in the nation to hold a tenure-track position in planning and the first female full professor of planning in the United States, teaching at Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Southern California. At the time McCoy accepted her professorship, she was the only female faculty and soon became department chair. Upon her retirement in 1989, CPPâs urban planning program had risen to national acclaim, and female professors were in close parity with their male colleagues. McCoy was a leader on professional and accreditation boards including the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning â the latter of which established an award in her honor recognizing individuals that further the advancement of women at universities though service, teaching and outreach.
Her family and friends gathered at Cal Poly Pomona on May 16, 2016, to remember her and celebrate her legacy. The evening included insightful comments about her work and legacy and stories about triumphs and challenges in her personal life and the early days of her ground-breaking role in planning. Her son, Dr. Alfred McCoy, offered a moving tribute. Also commenting were colleagues Linda Dalton and Carol Barrett, alumni Steve Preston and David Salazar, and colleagues Rick Willson, Dave Bess, and Chuck Hotchkiss.
In memory of Margaritaâs legacy and contributions to the urban planning profession and higher education, the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona has established the Margarita McCoy Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will benefit woman students in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. More information and an opportunity to donate can be found at https://mccoyscholarship.wordpress.com