Pasadena Community Foundation Funds

Jolly Urner Endowment

Smiling elderly woman

The Jolly Urner Endowment supports PCF’s grantmaking in the area of Youth & Education with a specific emphasis on underprivileged children.

Dorothy “Jolly” Urner was born in 1934 and raised in Hagerstown, Maryland, to Martin Jonas Urner and Dorothy Jolliffe. Jolly graduated from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and earned a Master’s degree in Education at Stanford University. Devoting her life’s work to the education of children, she taught in public schools in Delaware and California, and independent schools in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and San Francisco, California before coming to Polytechnic School in Pasadena as the Lower School Director in 1969.

Smiling woman in a black and white photo
Jolly during her Poly years

Dedicated to Polytechnic School

“Poly” would be her professional home for the next 30 years. During that time, she welcomed hundreds of new faculty members with warmth and hospitality, providing them with information about the city and the school’s culture. She worked with four Heads of School in furthering the school’s commitment to service and community outreach. After her retirement in 1999, Jolly continued to stop by school to greet new Heads and catch up with old friends and new hires. She served on the Centennial Committee as one of two principal writers for the Poly 100 Year Book, which provided a comprehensive overview of the school’s history.

Service in Retirement

Jolly’s service to the Pasadena community became her focus in retirement. She continued to be engaged at All Saints Church, where she had served as Junior Warden of the Vestry. She served as a board member and President of Pasadena Child Health Foundation and was active in the Pasadena Art Alliance. Jolly was proud to have been a member of the founding committee of the Pasadena Library’s One City One Story initiative. An avid sailor and skier, a fun-loving and competitive golfer and tennis player, a student of the cello, sketching, and watercolors, Jolly was happiest walking her beloved huskies and sharing her life with them. Jolly passed away on February 26, 2022.

Jolly Urner (left) with PCF President & CEO Jennifer DeVoll (center) at the 2017 Pasadena Child Health Open House

The Power of Endowment
Endowments are the cornerstone of PCF’s mission to build hometown legacies. The corpus of each endowed fund is invested with PCF’s portfolio for long-term growth. Each year, the endowments generate the funds that support PCF’s local grantmaking, which enriches the arts community, protects our environment, provides health care and critical social services, and bolsters public education in Pasadena. Endowments are permanent legacies for our community; these funds will continue to grow and provide philanthropic support forever.

Created March 2022

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