Memorable Faculty Inspire Giving

If there is a recipe for a winning college experience, amazing faculty in and out of the classroom would rank as the key ingredient for most college students. This is certainly true at Lewis & Clark. The influence of dedicated educators often extends far beyond the time students spend in class.

If there is a recipe for a winning college experience, amazing faculty in and out of the classroom would rank as the key ingredient for most college students. This is certainly true at Lewis & Clark. The influence of dedicated educators often extends far beyond the time students spend in class.

Years after leaving Palatine Hill, many former students and colleagues set up funds to honor the memory of their work with influential faculty and to help a new generations of students meet their potential.

Physics Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund

Thirty years ago, when a physics professor reached out to a student in need, the idea of “paying it forward” was likely not in vogue. However, that student, Betty Stillmaker Chinn BS ’83, instinctively knew the concept and followed through later.

Chinn was finishing her junior year of college when tuition increases that exceeded her financial aid award threatened her ability to live in Portland while finishing her degree. Vernon Long BS ’49, professor of physics, and his wife, Carolyn, invited Chinn into their home while she completed her studies. Now, three decades later—and 26 years after Long’s death—Chinn wanted to extend a similar type of opportunity to other physics students who may be facing financial hardships of their own.

Chinn and her husband, Richard, set up the Physics Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund, which supports worthy physics students with grants for various educational opportunities that will enhance the students’ learning experience. With this gift, Betty and Richard hope to bolster students’ readiness to transition to academic or professional life after graduating from Lewis & Clark.

“I wanted to create this fund because physics majors have specific needs for lab and research projects and for professional development that sometimes aren’t being fully met via traditional financial aid or other campus resources,” says Chinn. “It is my hope that other physics alumni may be inspired to contribute to the success of this fund.”

Joseph M. Ha Endowed Chair In International Affairs

Lewis & Clark is known for its global network of international leaders due in large measure to the deep commitment of faculty members like Joe Ha, professor emeritus of international affairs. As one of his department’s first chairs, he recruited stellar faculty and set the course for the curriculum. Former President Jack Howard wrote that Joe Ha was “a rare jewel… . No member of the faculty was ever more dedicated to his students as he assisted them to find and gain admission to the best graduate schools in the country.”

To celebrate his legacy, former students, the Transpacific Foundation, and family members—including his daughter, Karen Ha Chi, and her husband, Willard Chi JD ’97—have been contributing to create an endowed chair to honor his leadership. The college has successfully raised 50 percent of the funds, and seeks another million dollars to endow the position. 

Leon Pike/Edgar Reynolds Scholarship

In 1961, when Leon Pike started working as the technical director for the Lewis & Clark theatre department, the theatre was in a Quonset hut in a parking lot. During his 26 years at the college, Pike developed a devoted following not only from students, whom he called “the most delightful people in the world,” but also from colleagues.

Edgar Reynolds, professor emeritus of theatre, was so impressed by Pike’s dedication that he named a scholarship in honor of his friend and colleague when Pike retired in 1987. The Leon Pike/ Edgar Reynolds Scholarship benefits students demonstrating excellence in the areas of design and technical theatre. Pike passed away in 2000, but an upcoming theatre reunion, held in conjunction with this year’s Alumni Weekend (June 19–22), celebrates the era from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s when Pike and Reynolds worked at the college. See page 42 for more details.

Jerry Baum Award

Professor Jerry Baum’s English students hailed him as an extraordinary man, a teacher committed to active learning, to ethics, and to activism. His teaching was so inspired that two of his former students, who later became professors themselves, set up a fund in his name to recognize a student whose senior seminar paper addresses the relationship between history and literature and is recognized as outstanding by faculty.

Ann Dobyns BS ’68 and Scott Howard BA ’87 set up the fund for the Jerry Baum Award after he died in 2006. Since then, it has served as a high-water mark for work produced by graduating seniors. Heather Spurling BA ’13 received the 2013 award for her paper “Patrilineal Preeminence in Absalom, Absalom!” “It made me feel proud and confident in something I worked hard for,” says Spurling. “It felt like an academic stamp of approval and was so rewarding to receive at the end of my four years at Lewis & Clark.”

On the Web:

  • Major Gifts and Grants

    • $250,000 from an anonymous donor toward the establishment of the Dr. Joseph M. Ha Chair in International Affairs.
    • $235,000 bequest from the estate of L. Gray Beck and Mary June Beck (parents of the late Linda L. Kandel BA ’68) for the purpose of acquiring, maintaining, and assisting a quality faculty.
    • $150,000 from Business Wire founder and noted philanthropist Lorry Lokey through a community foundation in support of faculty recruitment and retention.
    • $50,000 to the Graduate School of Education and Counseling from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund for the expansion of the Problem Gambling Services Clinic.
    • $40,000 to support the Paul H. Casey Scholarship for Business Law and the Paul H. Casey Scholarship for Public Interest Law. This generous annual gift supports two students each year.
    • Sandra Boynton BS ’61 has established a charitable remainder trust through a contribution of real estate that will support the Dallaire Scholarship and provide other support for needs-based students.