Yet Doby's initiation as a Bruin was a near thing. In the 1950s, he was a track standout and city champion from Fremont High School in Los Angeles with plans to attend Compton College. But he had a track coach, Bill Thayer, who is a UCLA alumnus. Thayer, aware of Doby's athletic talent and academic prowess, drove him to UCLA during the last week of school, urging the coaches to award him a scholarship.
The rest is history. Doby went on to earn three degrees at UCLA: a bachelor's in mathematics, a master's in education and a doctorate in higher education administration.
He rose through UCLA's ranks to become vice chancellor of student affairs, heading an organization responsible for providing programs and services to 36,000 students — encompassing such units as undergraduate admissions, financial aid, the registrar's office, dean of students, residential life, health services and outreach. He led campaigns to build the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, the Tom Bradley International Hall and to renovate the Wooden Center and the Men's Gym.
In recent years, he was the driving force behind UCLA's outreach efforts to improve educational opportunities for California students, establishing the Career-Based Outreach Program to strengthen the academic preparation of college-bound students in educationally disadvantaged schools.
On Jan. 1, UCLA's longest-serving vice chancellor assumed the position of vice president of educational outreach for the University of California, becoming one of the highest-ranking African Americans in the UC system.
Says Chancellor Albert Carnesale: "Now the entire University of California system will have the benefit of Winston's knowledge and experience in preparing students to meet the challenges of higher education."
Foremost among his duties will be overseeing systemwide outreach efforts aimed at preparing more students for admission to UC. His office will coordinate UC's work with K-12 and community college educators to improve the quality of teaching, curricula and student performance.
"I hope that when people think of me," Doby says, "they will remember me as one who remained committed to the campus's quest for greatness and committed to ensuring that this quest for greatness included a commitment to equity and justice."