In Memoriam – Dr. Carlos Lopez

Menlo College mourns the loss of Dr. Carlos López, President Emeritus of Menlo College who passed away March 5 at his home due to complications from cancer. Carlos, age 76, the seventh president of Menlo College from 2004 through 2006 was from Concepción, Chile and was a long time resident of Menlo Park. He is the great great grandson of Faxon Atherton, the namesake of Atherton, California. He worked as a professor at the College from 1962 to 2009, having served as Chairman of the Humanities Department, faculty member, Director of Athletics and soccer coach.

Professor López played a leadership role throughout his tenure at Menlo College. Often referred to as “Señor” by his former students, Carlos was asked to assume the presidency at Menlo College during a transition period. “Carlos stepped up to the plate at a time when the campus needed stability” stated President G. Timothy Haight. “We are all saddened by the loss of Carlos, but we are also inspired by his devotion to our students and the Menlo Community.”

Carlos influenced students and alumni in many meaningful ways throughout his tenure at the College. As a professor, his charismatic and engaging teaching style brought history and the humanities to life for students. He provided invaluable mentorship to countless Menlo College students as they forged their dreams and struggled with personal challenges. During his educational career at the College, he led study programs abroad to Europe and South America. He was instrumental in developing educational exchange programs with universities in Chile and Mexico.

Aside from being a dedicated teacher, López was an author, lecturer and community leader. He published many books about California and Chilean history including El Real Ejercito de California, a book about the Royal Spanish Army in California.

He was an athletic advocate whose success on and off the soccer field earned him a place in Menlo College's Hall of Fame. “Carlos could be found watching the men's and women's soccer games at Cartan Field cheering the Oaks on.” President Haight recalled, “He remained highly enthusiastic and would critique the play of our athletes. Carlos loved the game.”

Carlos earned his bachelor's degree in Economics from Santa Clara University, a master's degree from UC Berkeley, and a Doctor of Letters from Inter-American University in Mexico. Two of his three children are Menlo College graduates.

Dr. Carlos López, a dear friend and integral part of the College will be missed and not forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his wide circle of friends, students, and colleagues and loved ones. At this time of reflection, we recall his presidential salutation in the Summer 2004 issue of Menlo College magazine in which he quoted Winston Churchill, “let us go forward together”!

In addition to his children Andrea, Elena and Larry he is survived by his wife Eveleen. Services will be held next week on Thursday, March 12 at 10 am at Nativity Church in Menlo Park. A reception at Menlo College will be held in the Russell Center Great Room following the funeral. Ashes will be scattered at sea in Chile.

The family asks that at this time in lieu of sending flowers, tributes may be sent to Menlo College. Contributions will go towards the Carlos López Endowed Scholarship Fund.