Covell & Brinley Awards

A Davis Tradition Since 1944

Helen B. Perry – 1949 (Covell)

Perry came to Davis in 1928 when her husband was offered a position teaching Ag Engineering.  While raising three children, she helped others in Davis.  She

—Den mother for her son’s Cub Scout troop

—Led Girl Scout troops for the girls in her son’s class and then for those in her daughter’s class

—Helped get Girl Scout cabin built [Enterprise article 7/14/50]

—Girl Scout Commissioner

—In early 1945 set up a camp on a local ranch as a substitute for a Girl Scout camp that would also give the girls an opportunity to serve the war effort

—Organized and helped run the children’s summer program

—PTA president and served on the State PTA Board

—Active in the community church, e.g., taught Sunday School and helped organize Vacation Bible School

—President of University Farm Circle 1934-35

—Worked with student wives on campus

—Organized and taught folk dance classes

—Taught crafts for a Woodland recreation program

—Worked with the Salvation Army helping people around town in need

She also was very supportive of her husband’s efforts to help and get to know his students, so she frequently put on lunches and dinners for groups of students.  And, like other Davis families during the war, she and her husband helped harvest crops in the fields and provided housing for soldiers’ families who wanted to be with their husbands before they went off to war—or new faculty and their families after the war when there wasn’t yet housing available. 

The Perry family left Davis for UCLA in August 1953 when Dr. Perry accepted a position at UCLA.

The Friday, July 8 Enterprise had this to say about Perry’s being selected for the award: “At the recent meeting of the Board, several names were considered with numerous ballots being taken.  By process of elimination, a unanimous decision was finally reached”

When presenting the award, “[Barlow] enumerated a number of things ‘this fellow’ did over the years and then concluded by asking Mrs. Helen Perry to step to the platform.  It was a distinct surprise.

 “The decision was marked by considerable applause.  Mrs. Perry responded to the presentation in accepting the cup with modesty and stated that all who have helped her in any with the things she did should feel a share in the award.

“She will retain the cup in her possession for a time after which it will be returned to the City Hall.”


Presented by Dick Barlow at City Park July 4