Bae Gardner, 1926-2008

February 23, 2008

I was one of Bae’s kids, too.


Sad note from the Hinckley Institute of Politics (note the funeral is today, for those in Salt Lake City):

The former, present, and future interns, staff, faculty, and family of the Hinckley Institute of Politics mourn the passing of former Hinckley Institute Assistant Director, Bae B. Gardner. I first walked in the door of the Hinckley Institute in the fall of 1988. It immediately felt like a second home and the main reason was Bae. I am proudly one of “Bae’s kids.” Unless you share that distinction, it is impossible to fully convey the loss we feel today with Bae’s passing. Bae was not just an administrator to her “kids.” She was a mother, friend, cheerleader, mentor, and confidant. Indeed, she supported and sustained me from that first day as an inquiring student through the present as the Hinckley Institute’s director. Bae had the unique talent of making students feel that they had unlimited potential and the tireless ability to provide them with life-changing opportunities. The Hinckley Institute and I will forever be grateful for the legacy she established and the love she exhibited during her incredible years of service at the Hinckley Institute.

Kirk L. Jowers
Director, Hinckley Institute of Politics

Viewing and Funeral Service
Saturday, February 23rd
Viewing: 11:00 am. Service: 1:00 pm.

Foothill LDS 7th Ward Chapel
2215 E. Roosevelt Avenue
Salt Lake City
, Utah 84108

In lieu of flowers, the Gardner family has suggested that donations may be made to the Bae B. Gardner Internship in Public Policy scholarship fund administered by the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Donations can be made online or by calling the University of Utah Development Office at 801.581.6825. Donations can also be mailed to the Hinckley Institute at 260 S. Central Campus Dr. Rm. 253. Salt Lake City, UT 84112. For more information call the Hinckley Institute of Politics at 801.581.8501.

I had applied for an internship with the National Wildlife Federation. Bae thought I had a chance at a different internship, so she copied the form and sent it to the Secretary of the Senate. I lost the NWF internship on a .01 gradepoint difference. I got the internship at the Senate, and it changed my life.

Of course, I was on the road debating when the word came through that they wanted me in Washington. Bae called me late at night at home, minutes before my acceptance would have been overdue. Four days later I was working in the Capitol.  Whenever I meet with other Hinckley Interns, I learn she did more for everyone else.

My first real office was a few feet from the Senate Chamber, with a view down the mall to the Washington Monument, and a chandalier 8 feet across. I got floor privileges to the Senate, and with Mike Mansfield’s name on my ID card, I had access to the White House and almost any other government building in town.

That sort of education is priceless. Thanks to Bae Gardner.

Bae should be remembered as a hero for education, a champion for college kids, and one who played a role in more good public policy decisions than few others in history, by promoting good kids to good experience that they applied later in public service.

I wish the service were streamed on the web somewhere. I’ll bet it’ll be something to see and hear.

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