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Dorothy Donahoe Hall
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Dorothy Donahoe Hall

DDHDorothy Margaret Donahoe, a native of California, was brought as a child to Bakersfield in 1914. She was less than a year old when polio left her crippled and on crutches until she was a teenager. She graduated with honors from what later became known as Bakersfield High School. Dorothy worked at Bakersfield High School from 1928 to 1935 as a secretary and later became the Registrar, a position she held until 1953.

Among Dorothy's civic interests were the Kern County Musical Association and the Kern County Philharmonic Society. She was a board member of the Bakersfield Society, the Bakersfield Community Theater, and a charter member of the Y.W.C.A. Dorothy was active in the Bakersfield Business and Professional Women's Club, and acted as state president of that organization in 1950 -1951. She participated in several Governors' Conferences addressing problems such as aging, employment, small business, youth, civil defense, and western mining. She was awarded national recognition by the US State Department for her bond drives during World War II in her role as chairman of the Kern County Women's Division Speaker's Bureau.

Dorothy was well known for her political activities with the Democratic Party. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Kern County Democratic Women, with strong support from the Democratic Party and the Business and Professional Women's organization. In 1953 Dorothy won election to the California Assembly where she served as an assemblywoman for the 38th District until her death in 1960.

As a legislator, Dorothy was known affectionately as "The Voice of Humanity." Her committee assignments related to education, ways and means, social welfare, manufacturing, and oil and gas. For her work as a legislator, the Los Angeles Times, in 1959, named her "Woman of the Year." While serving as chairman of the Education Committee, she helped develop the landmark Master Plan for Higher Education in California. In it, the roles of University of California, State Universities, and the Community Colleges were defined. The master plan was adopted by the legislature in Sacramento soon after her death. Her legislative colleagues appropriately called the measure the Donahoe Higher Education Act.

On the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Education Act, Dorothy Donahoe, described as a "courageous and unyielding" champion of educational reform, was acknowledged once again in the naming of Dorothy Donahoe Hall on the campus of California State University, Bakersfield.

Dorothy accomplished many things during her life, overlooking the ongoing pain from her polio to devote her time and energy to the betterment of society. It is said that her friends clearly remember her flashing smile, but seldom remember her crippling limp.

Dorothy Donahoe Hall is at the heart of the CSUB campus. The walls of the Galleria inside of DDH are made up of boards that are decorated by various registered clubs, organizations, and departments affiliated with the campus. These boards give DDH a sprit of involvement and a sense of belonging to those on the campus.