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Late professor Paul Copley celebrated by former student

July 26, 2011

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    Paul Copley and his wife Laurie

Paul Copley, Lewis & Clark alumnus and longtime instructor at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, passed away suddenly on July 3. This tribute, published on the Daily Kos by a former student of Copley’s, details the impact he had throughout his career in education.  

“He wanted us to expand our perspectives and to question authorities, but he also wanted us to challenge our own preconceptions and presumptions,” the former student writes. “Everything Paul taught had an underlying idealism at the way things could be and an underlying outrage at the way things are. And yet he was joyous and funny, he drank deeply of life, and more than anything he was effusively caring.”

Copley earned his B.A. with a major in history at Lewis & Clark in 1967, his master’s degree in history from California State University at Long Beach, and his basic administrative license from Lewis & Clark in 1991.

For more than 30 years, Copley taught history, economics, and political science and chaired the social studies department at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon. He began teaching at Lewis & Clark in 1995; since 2005, he served as a cohort coordinator and subject area advisor in secondary education.

Memorial services took place on the Lewis & Clark campus and at the Beaverton Foursquare Church in July. The article honoring Copley’s memory touches on some of the stories shared at the latter service.

“At the memorial, a former student whose own teaching career was electrified by Paul recounted the essence of who Paul was and what he tried to do. Paul once told him that through teaching we can change the world. He not only meant it, he proved it.”

Read the full article or visit the Facebook memorial page, which includes dozens of testimonials from students, colleagues, friends, and neighbors.

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