Downey Celebrates 102 years of Dr Mary Stauffer

Lukas Luna, Co-Copy Editor


On Saturday, August 24, Downey’s Columbia Memorial Space Center held a birthday celebration for the now 102 year-old Dr Mary Stauffer. The event lasted from 10am to 5pm, with a reception featuring many prominent community members starting at 11:00 am.  


A big focus was put on Project Lead The Way, the district wide robotics program that was made possible through Dr Stauffer’s generous donation. Students from the program, like junior Luis Arizmendi, attended to show his gratitude for the opportunities her generosity has afforded them.  


“Stauffer has made countless donations to DUSD and our school, but to me personally as well as my team [Robotics], she has donated a lot of money to our program.”Arizmendi said. “In fact, she is one of the main reasons we have robotics, donating a lot of money and providing us so much support in our first years.” 


While those who feel the results of Dr Stauffer work the hardest are undoubtedly Downey Unified School District students, that does not stop others from being inspired by her powerful actions. Superintendent Dr John Garcia considers himself to be one of these individuals. 


“… She’s really been an inspiration to me. She’s made me think of how I can give back to others, how can I support others.” Garcia said. “Dr Staffuer says every time I see her “what’s next.” And that really pushes me to think where are we going as a school district and how can we better serve our kids.” 


With all the work Dr Stauffer has done for the city of Downey, it would be easy for one to believe that her proudest accomplishment would be one of the many monumental contributions to the community. However, the centenarian’s greatest pride lies with the simple fact that she has been able to spend so much of her life in Downey. 


“Just living here till I’m over a hundred and enjoying all the advantages that Downey has to offer [is my proudest achievement].” Stauffer said. “ It’s a wonderful place to live, a wonderful place to work, and a wonderful place to raise children. The schools are very good. I’ve been very happy living here. I thank everyone in Downey for making it such a good place.” 


Information on Dr Stauffer’s foundation can be found below