UCI News

UCI's first employee, overseer of campus construction, dies at age 94

Lavonne Edwin Cox, the first employee of UC Irvine, died Aug. 26 of complications from a fall. He was 94.…

September 8, 2008

Lavonne Edwin Cox, the first employee of UC Irvine, died Aug. 26 of complications from a fall. He was 94. Better known as L.E. Cox, he had helped build 24 air bases for the Army Corps of Engineers before then-UC President Clark Kerr hired him to oversee the $30 million campus construction. He arrived at the future site of UCI in a station wagon filled with office supplies and set up his desk in a second-floor bedroom of the Irvine Ranch house on Myford Road. “He was a meticulous man, who believed in following rules and regulations,” recalled Jean Aldrich, widow of UCI’s first chancellor, Daniel Aldrich. “Nothing escaped him. He was a very important man on campus and a friend.” He retired in 1978. He is survived by his wife, Edna; sons Allan and Stephen; and four grandchildren.