University of Oregon

‘Autumn Bouquets for Everybody’
Intimate personal letters can provide unmatched insight into the inner workings of their author's mind. The letters of noted Northwest painter Morris Graves (1910–2001) show a complex character pulled by competing, sometimes-contradictory impulses. While he desired an active social life, for example, he also sought out and enjoyed his solitary time, especially in nature, as is clear in the letters excerpted here from Morris Graves: Selected Letters (University of Washington Press, 2013) edited by Vicki Halper, formerly the modern art curator at the Seattle Art Museum, and Lawrence Fong '72, past curator of American and regional art at the UO's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. With the extensive holdings of artwork by Graves at the JSMA and many of the artist's 40 cartons of letters now preserved in Knight Library's Special Collections and University Archives, the UO has become a center for Morris Graves studies.

Photo: Grave's painting Cluster of Lily-of-the-Valley Plants, ca. 1954
Cluster of Lily-of-the-Valley Plants, ca. 1954

Morris Graves to his mother, Helen Graves

Eureka, California, October 11, 1965

Photo: Flowers in Pitcher, late 1940s–early 1950s, watercolor and colored chalk on paper.
Flowers in Pitcher, late 1940s–early 1950s, watercolor and colored chalk on paper.
This Monday morning is such a glamorous sunshine day (after several overcast days) that I'm in a hurry to get back out to The Lake [the artist's home in the redwood forest near Eureka, California]. I've decided not to work out there today but just explore parts of the forest I've not yet taken time to explore. I did this for a couple of hours one day last week and discovered such beautiful great one-hundred-year-old mature white firs (my favorite of all forest trees) that on my way back to the cabin I got to wondering if I could ever make a path to them (instead of a trail)—a path that it might [be] possible to push you along in a wheelchair so you could see them. Something about these great old mature giant trees makes my heart go out to them. I love them more than my fellow man. Or so I feel sometimes. They stand in the forest with such serenity and character, their lives so resolved—so all-of-a-piece—and the forest is so deep and in places almost impenetrable that many of these great trees have never been seen by man. This gives them some deep quietude of their own, and, although you may think I'm waxing a bit emotional in this letter, I lean with my arms outstretched against these great trees when I discover them and my heart floods with tears of love for them. I am far from what's called a "naturalist" (or what's called a "bird-watcher") but I'm not far from what's called a "solitary." I love to be alone in nature where no one has ever been and where there's not a chance that someone is going to be.


Morris Graves to his brother, Wallace Graves
La Conner, Washington, undated

Dear Wallace,

I am at La Conner alone for a few days' rest. . . .

East of town a mile or so . . . and on a wooded "pleasant ridge" in the cemetery and . . . a few times I have been there during the years to see the lichened markers—and think those thoughts that marvel at the names and dates (1880). Seems old and bleak—but more—those thoughts more full of poignant sadness than an 1880 plush family photo album—more full of sadness that's like sudden sharp despair and grief. . . .

Photo: Flowers in Pitcher, late 1940s–early 1950s, watercolor and colored chalk on paper.
Six Bottles, Three Flowers, ca. 1950

It occurred to me while marveling at the whole sight of this little cemetery that I'd make autumn bouquets of wildflowers for everybody there—the roadside rows of weedy Michaelmas daisy and late clover and lupin, etc., would make sweet little nosegay-like bouquets. So I decided to do this and, rain or shine, return with them today. In my feelings and thoughts about this plan, I somewhat fancied for myself to move at a rhythmical pace—not even slightly meditative—as I, careless of names or bramble-lost graves—or recent flower decorations left by families—moved from one to the next to the next to the next, impartially placing an equal bouquet in an equal unpausing rhythm—like a dance, a dance leaning from left to right across a stage. . . .

I drove to the cemetery, parked at the gate, lifted out the box and immediately announced, calling aloud—and quite aloud—"Autumn bouquets for everybody!" (Oh lonely.) (Like a lone dance.) I placed one and then the next and then the next, saying, "Flowers for you—and for you—and for you—and for you—rest, sweet souls—rest, rest, dear souls—I love you—it is late summer—it is autumn—the sun shines, the air breathes—you have autumn crows and now also this little new bouquet—you are clothed over with a sheet of ivy—you with a sheet of stone—you with a fallen iron fence—you with dry grass—you with dry lawn, you with brambles, you with a fallen marker—this little bouquet for you—and this one for you—for you, dear—are you a child?—are you a boy?—are you a man?—were you young?— were you old?—were you lonely and caught in the drift of this life too?—did you love the wind? and this autumn sun?"

I felt marvelously glad that I had done it. I felt sad too. I felt kind of charmed by this sadness, and so I held the pause—the rhythm was over.

Dark Response to Our
'Fecund Mental Derelicts'

To our current sensibilities, historic accounts of treatments for the mentally ill may seem as twisted and macabre as some of the patients' most tortured hallucinations. Since it was established in 1883, the Oregon State Hospital in Salem has used the accepted treatments of the day—which have, at times, included lobotomies, dangerous medications, electroshock, and sterilization. In the following excerpt from Inside the Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph (History Press, 2013), author Diane Goeres-Gardner '71, MA '83, recounts the history of forced sterilization at the facility and chronicles how beliefs about the practice changed over time.

Photo: Interior shot of vacant and decaying Oregon State Hospital just before demolition.
Toward a brighter future The aged and often dingy Salem hospital (shown here) was replaced in 2011 by a new 620-bed hospital offering modern treatment and recovery facilities.

To our current sensibilities, historic accounts of treatments for the mentally ill may seem as twisted and macabre as some of the patients' most tortured hallucinations. Since it was established in 1883, the Oregon State Hospital in Salem has used the accepted treatments of the day—which have, at times, included lobotomies, dangerous medications, electroshock, and sterilization. In the following excerpt from Inside the Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph (History Press, 2013), author Diane Goeres-Gardner '71, MA '83, recounts the history of forced sterilization at the facility and chronicles how beliefs about the practice changed over time.

The history of the Eugenics Movement shows us that absolute power unhampered by conscience or compassion results in abuse of those who are the most defenseless. In Oregon it was those judged to be mentally ill or homosexual.

Between 1917 and 1983 it's estimated 2,648 Oregon citizens were forcibly sterilized by the state. Oregon became notorious for targeting young people labeled delinquent, women who'd given birth to illegitimate children, and homosexual men. Most of the operations were castrations for men and ovariotomies for women—the most severe forms of sterilization.

Eugenics is the applied science of a biological and social movement, which advocated sterilizing, or preventing the procreation of undesirable human populations to improve the genetic composition of humanity. The philosophy became widely popular in the mid-1920s and continued until the 1940s when the Holocaust was discovered in Germany. Eugenics theory rested on the presumption that people could measure and evaluate what constituted better or best in another human being. In the early 1900s intelligence as perceived by social class, education, income, and race became the primary focus of the Eugenicists.

It's claimed that 59 percent of the 509 sterilizations performed at OSH between 1918 and 1941 were women who received salpingectomies (removal of the fallopian tubes) or had their ovaries removed. The majority of the men were castrated (68 percent) while the remainder received vasectomies. If birth control was the real goal, vasectomies would have been enough to accomplish their purpose and castrations would not have been necessary.

In 1936 OSH superintendent R. E. Lee Steiner wrote the following: "Sterilization has been 'advocated for all cases of insanity.' Nevertheless it was carried out in but few cases because of legal restrictions; the patient and his next friend must both sign the petition." Later he went on to advocate a change in Oregon's marriage laws to prevent marriage between epileptics, those who were feebleminded, mentally sick, chronic criminals, and degenerates of every sort. "Such an act would be a most potent factor in the program of prevention."

The men serving on the Board of Eugenics were intensely verbal about their support of Eugenics theory and their animosity toward the mentally ill in Oregon. Dr. John C. Evans, superintendent of OSH from 1937 through 1948, supported the Oregon sterilization law and believed it should also be extended to those outside Oregon's institutions. He stated that the law, "which he held weak in that it deals only with persons already locked up and not high-grade morons, potential and prolific breeders of the unfit." He also supported the proposed marriage laws to be voted on in the fall of 1938 and believed that the physical exams required before marriage should be extended to include women, and both sexes should undergo mental exams as well. This would determine whether women were epileptic or unfit in any way for motherhood.

* * *

The largest newspaper in Oregon, the Republican-controlled Oregonian, supported Eugenics and used its power to inflame public opinion. In a news article headlined "Fecund Mental Derelicts of Oregon Called Menace by State Health Official," Dr. Floyd South, a member of the Oregon State Board of Health and the Board of Eugenics, stated on June 17, 1938, "Feeble-minded, insane, and otherwise mentally and physically incompetent persons in Oregon are reproducing twice as fast as normal persons." He went on to state that within 200 years half the state's population would be confined to public institutions if rigid sterilization laws were not enforced. This applied to the insane as well as "mentally weak persons."

* * *

In 1940 Dr. Richard B. Dillehunt, dean of the University of Oregon Medical School and chairman of the committee appointed by Governor Charles H. Martin to analyze Oregon's responsibility to the insane, wrote a series of articles for the Oregon Journal reporting his findings. He believed mental illness could be prevented by marriage laws and sterilization. He stated, "Idiots, imbeciles and morons are singularly moved by the primitive biologic impulses and spawn prodigiously. Here is a place where social groups and others might get together and make an effort: for, mark my word, with the prolificacy and multiplication of the feeble-minded, such social groups might soon find themselves on the defensive instead of in a position to help."

The admitted number of people sterilized under Oregon's law varies from 2,341 to 2,648. Approximately 65 percent were women and 35 percent were men. One-third were diagnosed as mentally ill. The surgery center at the Oregon State Hospital served as the main facility for the operations. The last case was considered in 1981 and Senator John Kitzhaber pushed the legislature to abolish the State Board for Social Protection in December 1983.

Men who were castrated as young as age 16 suffered the lack of face and body hair and eventually high blood pressure throughout their whole lives. Many didn't know what was happening to them or suffered severe pain during the surgery as a result of inadequate anesthesia. At least 100 young girls living at the state training school for delinquent girls were sterilized before 1941. At least one Oregon woman died as a result of a forced hysterectomy.

In August 2002, news that Oregon's Eugenics records had been shredded provided incentive for Oregon to acknowledge what had been done to thousands of
Oregonians against their will. On December 2, 2002, Oregon became the second state to issue a public apology. Governor John Kitzhaber apologized to the 2,600 Oregonians sterilized during the last 60 years in a ceremony held at the state capital. "The state forcibly sterilized children," the governor told the crowd, "as well as people with mental disorders, disabilities, epilepsy, and criminal records. Nearly all of them were vulnerable, helpless citizens entrusted to the care of the state by their families or by the courts."

The Taste of College

In 1961, university life was completely different than it is today—or was it? In "A Puppy Dog Tale," a lighthearted item from the 1961 Oregana (the UO's yearbook), author Ron Abell, MS '60, and illustrator Jim Cloutier '63, MFA '69, enlisted the format of a children's storybook to tell the tale of how a little yellow puppy learns what life's really about. From a Duck. At the Fishbowl. Sound familiar?

Illustration: Cartoon yellow dog.

Once upon a time a yellow puppy, after chewing up an old shoe, a welcome mat, and the brim of a discarded fedora, found a university catalog in his mouth. He had chewed his way through the table of contents, the faculty, and the admission requirements, and was halfway through scholarships and other grants, when he decided he very much liked the taste of college. So much, in fact, that he decided to get more than just a taste. So the yellow puppy trotted out to the nearest highway and stood there, smiling, waiting for someone to drive up and give him a ride.


Illustration: Cartoon yellow dog.

After a while a car stopped and a big bear offered him a ride. "Come to my college," said the big bear. "It's in a big city and every year we all go to Pasadena and play football." But the yellow puppy thought, who needs football? And he told the big bear that he was sorry but he would wait a while longer. The next car that stopped was driven by a farmer. "Come to my college," said the farmer. "You'll learn how to drive a tractor and how to hoe a furrow and how to cash parity checks." But the yellow puppy didn't know what a furrow was, much less a parity check, so he said he was sorry but he'd wait a while longer. Then another car stopped and a duck offered him a ride. "Come to my college," said the duck. "It's surrounded by pretty trees and we all have fun and we learn what life is really about." The yellow puppy thought about trees and about having fun, and he sincerely did want to learn what life was all about, so he went with the duck.


Illustration: Cartoon yellow dog.

At the duck's college the yellow puppy ran around smiling and barking and looking at all the trees. People petted him and fed him hamburgers and invited him to come along with them while they had fun. The yellow puppy visited the Fishbowl and watched all the ducks playing bridge and drinking coffee and talking about ParisFranceKarlMarxForeignFilmsandOlympiaBeer. But nobody seemed to be learning what life was really about. Then the yellow puppy trotted smiling to the Side, where he watched all the ducks playing bridge and drinking coffee and talking about ParisFranceKarlMarx-ForeignFilmsandOlympiaBeer. "Bark! Bark!" he said, wagging his tail and grinning, and what he meant was, "What is life really about?" Then the yellow puppy was invited to Maxie's, where a lot of ducks were talking. The puppy listened hard, but it seemed to him after a while that the ducks were talking about KarlFranceParisBeer-ForeignMarxandOlympiaFilms, which was indeed strange. But it was fun, and the yellow puppy did the same thing the second day he was at the duck's college, and the third day, and the fourth day.

After a while the yellow puppy had become a big yellow dog and he was still spending all his time at the Fishbowl, and the Side, and at Maxie's. He had a lot of friends and a lot of fun. Every year he would make a few new friends, although a few old friends would sadly move along somewhere, out to a different sort of world where, the yellow dog imagined, they would commence finally to learn what life was really about. When he thought about it, which didn't happen very often, the yellow dog decided that it might be nice to go along with them someday. But after all, he had plenty of time, plenty of time.

Illustration: Cartoon yellow dog.

Oregana was published from 1910 to 1968 and from 1975 to 1980. It was preceded by yearbooks titled The Webfoot (1902, '03, and '05); Bulletin: a Class Book (1907–8); and, believe it or not, The Beaver (1909). Google "UO Oregana" or visit UO Libraries Scholars' Bank for a link to all the yearbooks, which are available online through the UO Libraries.

Selected new books written by UO faculty members and alumni and received at the Oregon Quarterly office. Quoted remarks are from publishers’ notes or reviews.

Basalt City (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013) by Lawrence Hobart, MEd '53. Based on events in La Grande, Oregon, during the early 1920s, Hobart's historical novel details a Ku Klux Klan–backed campaign to outlaw parochial schools—and in doing so, to take a swipe at Catholic immigrants. The story of fictional Basalt City "presages America's 21st-century clash of cultures, and poses an historic warning against extremism in curtailing individual rights to guard majority values."

Building for War: The Epic Saga of the Civilian Contractors and Marines of Wake Island in World War II (Casemate Publishers, 2012) by Bonita Gilbert '88, MA '92. The author "sheds new light on why the United States was taken by surprise in December 1941 and shines a spotlight on the little-known, virtually forgotten story of a group of civilian workers and their families," about 125 of them from Oregon, including Gilbert's father.

El Salvador Could Be Like That: A Memoir of War, Politics, and Journalism from the Front Row of the Last Bloody Conflict of the U.S.–Soviet Cold War (Karina Library Press, 2013) by Joseph B. Frazier '70. In this "fast-paced adventure story" that blends journalism with memoir, Frazier, a Eugene native and former Associated Press correspondent, recounts his experience covering El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s.

Lincoln and Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era (Oregon State University Press, 2013) by Richard W. Etulain, MA '62, PhD '66. Etulain challenges the argument that residents of the Pacific Northwest were passive spectators of disunion during the Civil War era and exhibits "a keen eye for both the sweep of history and the small anecdotes that make the best history books irresistible."

Night Is Simply a Shadow (Tavern Books, 2013) by Greta Wrolstad '03. In this posthumous book of poetry, Wrolstad "navigates the metaphorical intersection of internal and external landscapes" with a writing style that is "lyrically rich, formally buoyant, and constantly inventive."

The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture (University of Arizona Press, 2013) by Sarah Jaquette Ray, PhD '09. "Ray challenges assumptions in the field of environmentalism . . . [and] raises critical questions about the way that environmentalism excludes certain groups."

Excerpted in this issue

Morris Graves: Selected Letters Edited by Vicki Halper and Lawrence Fong (University of Washington Press, 2013)

Inside Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph by Diane L. Goeres-Gardner (The History Press, 2013)

Graphic: book jackets for My Best Mormon Life by Jesse Ellison and Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging by Lauren Kessler

News, Notables, Innovations

44 Years, 17 Jobs, 1 Impressive Woman

A fixture on campus since the 1960s and as amiable as she is energetic, Lorraine Davis, PhD '72, is a Duck to be reckoned with.



Graphic: Infographic showing Lorraine Davis's career.

World Leader in the House
The Dalai Lama filled the Matthew Knight Arena.

Photo: His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.

They arrived by foot, bicycle, shuttle, taxi, and wheelchair. Some leaned on canes. A few limped in on crutches. But come to Matthew Knight Arena they did, 11,000 of them on a sunny afternoon in May. They came to hear words spoken by a venerable world leader whose spiritual lineage reaches back centuries, and who was, for decades, the spiritual and political head of the exiled people of Tibet, yet who prefers to call himself a "humble Buddhist monk."

For more than an hour before His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was scheduled to speak, the eager, the curious, and the devout lined up in front of the security detectors placed at the three entrances to the arena. The mood was upbeat, expectant. New-age fashionistas showed off their ethnic jewelry and sparkly scarves. Friends chatted. Couples held hands.

"Seeing him speak, I think it will change my life," said Sophie Thompson, a UO sophomore.

In 1959, when the Dalai Lama was 24, just a few years older than Thompson, he was forced to flee his homeland of Tibet following a Chinese invasion. He established his home in exile in Dharamsala, India. For the next five decades he garnered worldwide respect for his commitment to the Buddhist teachings of compassion, nonviolence, and religious tolerance along with his unwavering support for the Tibetan people. Among the many honors he's received is the Nobel Peace Prize (1989).

Josh Ford brought his 10-year-old daughter to the talk because, he said, "I think it's important for her to hear the message the Dalai Lama wants to share about peace."

Rabbi Hanan Sills '78 said he almost stayed home and watched the talk via the Internet, but was glad he made the effort to see the Dalai Lama in person.

"I value his teachings, his being in the world, his way of living, his presence," said Sills, who led the Hillel Center at the university from 1984 to 1998, and taught in various departments.

Also in line were scores of middle school students wearing burgundy and gold T-shirts with the words "Peace Jam Northwest 2013" on the front, and on the back the lines "My brain and my heart are my temple. My philosophy is kindness." Bryan Costa, of Monroe Middle School, said the youths are part of a program, begun by the Dalai Lama and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, to teach young people about peace.

Inside, almost every seat in the vast arena was filled—tickets for the event reportedly sold out in 30 minutes. The stage was festooned with flowers and at its center sat an elegant red chair donated by La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery in Eugene, owned by Brad Parker '89.

When His Holiness—also known as Yeshin Norbu (the Wish-Fulfilling Gem) or Kundun (the Presence)—walked onto the stage, the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation. He stood in bright stage lights, but also appeared projected on the arena's scoreboard replay screens, each 20 feet by 12 feet, so even those with upper-level seats could see him up close. Taking his time, the Dalai Lama bowed to all quarters of the arena, then motioned the audience to sit.

His Holiness's visit to Eugene was more than a decade in the making. It was initiated by the Eugene Sakya Center, a Tibetan Buddhist group that offers meditation sessions and classes on Buddhist fundamentals. One of Sakya's resident teachers, Lady Palmo, was wounded and her parents and three siblings were killed during the same invasion that forced the Dalai Lama to flee Tibet. She was 15 at the time and spent the next 16 years meditating in caves in Tibet and India, "transforming the adversity she had experienced into forgiveness, compassion, and joy," according to the center's website. Palmo and her family moved to Cottage Grove in 1997. Her sons, Jigme Rinpoche and Ngaglo Rinpoche, head the Sakya Center.

For almost a decade, Lady Palmo wrote monthly letters to the Dalai Lama, asking him to come to Eugene. The Sakya Center secured the cooperation of four University of Oregon presidents (one interim), which was an essential requirement for an appearance.

According to Mark Unno, UO associate professor of religious studies, a committee made up of university administrators, logistics experts, venue specialists, and members of the Sakya Center met weekly to finalize detailed plans for the visit. The U.S. State Department and the Eugene Police Department hammered out transportation security arrangements. The center and the university coordinated with the Maitripa Buddhist College in Portland, which cohosted the visit and sponsored a series of events, including a talk by His Holiness at the Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"It was an amazing process to be involved in during the last nine months," Unno says, "for all these people to come together for one purpose—the successful visit of the Dalai Lama. It was a signature event for the university."

At the arena, UO president Michael Gottfredson presented His Holiness, 78, with the Presidential Medal, given to the world's foremost citizens honoring their leadership in the global community. Then one more gift, a bit less weighty: in keeping with his custom when speaking at universities, His Holiness received and, broadly smiling, donned a UO sports visor. So bedecked, and with no notes, he began his talk. He delivered his message of compassion, global interconnectedness, tolerance, and the oneness of humanity with his well-known gentle humor.

"I notice in America, knowledge about outside world, sometimes limited," he said with a chuckle.

He also described the effect of selfishness on the human heart. "I, I, I, me, mine—such people [who say those words] have great risk of heart attack," he said. "Inside, strong self-centered attitude. Extreme selfish, sometimes I call blind selfish. That selfish closes our inner door. [They] find it very difficult to reach out to other people. You feel lonely, then more anxiety, more suspicious, more distrust. That's the cause of heart attack."

His Holiness told the crowd the next Dalai Lama could very well be a woman (and likely "very, very attractive"); that the under-30 generation "has the opportunity to create new shape of the century" and that, when it comes to community affairs, "action is more important than prayer." He exhorted the audience to face complex issues with wisdom, warm-heartedness, and patience.

"There is a Tibetan saying, 'nine times failure—nine times effort,'" he said. "Sometimes you American brothers and sisters, too much impatience."

The day following the talk, Tibetans Lama Jigme and Kyizom Wangmo, who own Potala Gate import store in Eugene, remained elated at having seen the man they consider a father figure and spiritual leader. Jigme and Wangmo were among a handful of others from the local Tibetan community who had greeted the Dalai Lama at a smaller event before his Knight arena speech.

"Being in his presence, the feeling is not just that you are blessed but that all your negative karma has been removed, just by seeing his face," said Jigme, whose words were translated by Wangmo. His Holiness touched Jigme's prayer beads and blew on them, fulfilling his deepest wish, he said.

"Being there, being able to touch his robe, was a life-changing experience," Wangmo remembered. "Your whole life has changed for the better. Now, you feel you are weightless."

—Alice Tallmadge, MA '87

New Board to Govern the UO
State legislature approves S.B. 270, establishing board of trustees

Photo: Oreogn State Capitol buildingOREGON STATE CAPITOL—CC-JEFF BAXTER-BY-NC-SA

The Oregon Legislative Assembly has authorized the establishment of an institutional governing board for the University of Oregon, a shift in governance structure that will significantly change the way the university is managed. Senate Bill 270, which passed 23–7 in the Senate and 44–15 in the House during the final days of the 2013 legislative session, establishes institutional boards for the UO, Portland State University, and Oregon State University. It also creates a process for Oregon's other four public universities to seek their own governing boards in the future.

The legislation creates an 11- to 15-member board of trustees for the UO, with members to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate by mid-September. (At press time, the governor's office was accepting nominations for membership on the new board.)

The board will be authorized to issue revenue bonds (to be repaid from the university's own resources) to pay for the acquisition and construction of property and facilities. It will develop and approve each year's university budget, will have the authority to hire and fire the president, and will manage existing UO buildings and property on behalf of the state. The board will set tuition rates for out-of-state and graduate students, and will have limited authority to raise resident undergraduate tuition, with legislative approval needed for any increase greater than 5 percent.

"Local governing boards at our public universities will produce increased transparency and public accountability, while at the same time leveraging increased private investment and community engagement," said Governor John Kitzhaber in a July 3 statement, issued as the legislation headed into a vote. The governor signed the bill into law in August.

The state's public universities have been managed collectively by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education since 1929, when the legislature established the statewide board to provide central oversight and eliminate unnecessary duplication within the system. Support for local, institutional governing boards has gained momentum in recent years, however, with PSU and the UO issuing white papers in 2009 and 2010, respectively, calling for a restructuring of their governance relationships with the state in response to the changing economic climate and needs of public higher education institutions.

UO President Michael Gottfredson, who assumed office in August 2012, is the fourth consecutive president of the university to advocate for a shift to an institutional governance structure. Citing the benefits of a board focused on the particular needs and individual mission of the UO, Gottfredson testified in support of the bill before the state legislature in April, telling the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development that passage of S.B. 270 would give the University of Oregon a board that:

• Works to assist and support the university, not merely as fiduciaries, but also through intimate familiarity with the university, engagement in developing a strategic vision of the university, and dialogue with the leadership of the university

• Provides the university with connections to the business, civic, and opinion leaders of the state

• Provides intellectual support for the university, engaging its professional schools, encouraging its leading faculty, and recognizing and broadcasting their contributions to discovery and scholarship, the state, and preparation of Oregonians

• Provides both support and oversight for the president and the campus leadership

• Brings expertise and an important external perspective to the university

• Ensures more direct connections between and accountability for the university's mission, goals, strategic plan, financial management, and performance.

"Furthermore," Gottfredson continued, "an institutional board will allow us to tap into greater philanthropy to recruit and retain top faculty members, make a UO education even more attractive and accessible to Oregon's best students, and build state-of-the-art facilities and technology to better serve the needs of Oregonians in the 21st century. And, importantly, it assures a high level of accountability as a public board."

The legislation requires designated seats on the board for one student, one faculty member, and one nonfaculty university employee. It stipulates that the student be a voting member, with the governor determining at the time of appointment whether the faculty and staff positions will be voting members. The university president will be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the board. The governor's office sought input on board nominations from the University Senate and student government president, the Oregon Students Association, the university, and the broader community. Although the legislation calls for members of the board to be appointed and confirmed by September, they will not be installed and invested with authority for management of the university until July 2014, allowing for a period of training and greater familiarization with the institution. Until that time, the State Board of Higher Education will continue to oversee all seven universities within the Oregon system.

THE BEST . . .
. . . Walk on Game Day

Photo: Elliott Kennedy at Autzen Stadium

Clusters of students, parents, friends, and alumni steadily stream across Franklin Boulevard, as if in a mass exodus from the University of Oregon campus. The parade of green-and-yellow–clad fans grows larger with each step closer to Autzen Stadium. But attire isn't the only thing in common: they all share the peace of mind that comes with having a coveted game-day ticket secure in a pocket or purse.

At the mouth of the old Autzen Footbridge, hundreds more join the throng. Couples walk hand in hand and children are perched on parents' shoulders. Happy hugs are exchanged and the slapping sounds of celebratory high-fives ring in the air.

The fans funnel onto the bridge—bodies draw closer, elbows bump. The uneven rhythm of feet shuffling across concrete is sporadically punctuated by shouts of "Go Ducks!" and combines with the rush of the water below to create a pregame symphony. At the water's edge, the music rises into the trees, a colorful canopy of shimmering leaves illuminated in the slanting light of the setting sun.

Across the river and adrift among the fans flowing in the cool shade of Alton Baker Park, I let my senses guide me toward the stadium. Smells of burning charcoal and chilidogs tickle my nose. The closing notes of "Mighty Oregon" echo faintly in the distance. A few more steps and I suddenly emerge from under the sheltering trees, only to enter a different world.

A sea of folding chairs, barbeques, coolers, tents, and motor homes fills every inch of the vast parking lot. The display of school spirit gets more elaborate each season, as if in direct competition with last year's tailgating festivities. Even with additions to the sporting complex over the years—the Len Casanova Athletic and Moshofsky Sports Centers, PK Park, and the new Hatfield-Dowlin Complex—the party's footprint is still vast and impressive.

Towering above the revelers is Autzen Stadium, a monument of unity for the 55,000 or so fans brought together by one love: the first home football game of the Pac-12 season. It is the ark that carries loyal fans through the tumultuous and competitive sea of college football.

While my history at the university will be brief, I know I will forever be among the Ducks that make the migration to Autzen Stadium on those Saturdays in the fall.

—Elliott Kennedy '12­

"The Best…" is a series of student-written essays describing superlative aspects of campus. Elliott Kennedy, shown above, is a second-year master's degree student in the Department of Romance Languages, who also completed her undergraduate studies at the UO in journalism and French.

Image: Around the block, the UO in Portland

A New Plan for Old Town
Oregon graduate students tackle urban redevelopment in Portland.

Photo: Plan of Old town Portland.

Portland has been continually growing, shaping, and redefining itself since its beginnings as a riverbank land claim 170 years ago. In parts of the Old Town district, however, all those decades of history, commerce, and culture have added up to something less than a perfect whole. Today, as local government, business, and nonprofit groups work to redefine and revitalize Old Town, University of Oregon students are helping shape the conversation, and maybe even the neighborhood's future.  

The Oregon Leadership in Sustainability (OLIS) graduate certificate program is a yearlong intensive course that helps professionals from a wide range of backgrounds prepare for careers in sustainability. In 2013, the program's capstone practicum course asked some 20 graduate students to apply their course work in sustainable urban planning to a real-world problem: the issues facing Old Town Portland. 

Through site visits to the district and multidisciplinary research, the students investigated the opportunities, resources, challenges, and pitfalls of the Old Town project, and worked to develop practical and detailed recommendations for redevelopment. Their task included balancing new development with historic preservation; responding to concerns of and about the area's homeless population; addressing parking and transportation needs; and creating a more clearly defined sense of place in the area.  

After 10 intensive weeks of study, research, and meetings with experts and stakeholders, the students presented their finished proposal at an event sponsored by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. They offered three distinct but interrelated proposals for the new Old Town: a historic heritage district, an ecodistrict, and a creative district, each with a corresponding set of sustainability recommendations ranging from adding public garden space and standardizing historic signage to implementing a parking tax and creating infrastructure to support development of a corporate campus. 

Years of work are still ahead before the extraordinary potential of Old Town can be fully realized. As that work, which will balance the needs, concerns, and dreams of the city, moves forward, the OLIS proposal will be a vital tool in shaping the future.

—Mindy Moreland, MS '08

WEB EXTRA: Read the OLIS report.


In the White Box: Birdhead
October 3–November 27

First Thursday opening reception, October 3, 5:00– 9:00 p.m.

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Get Connected!
October 22, 5:00–8:00 p.m.

Network with fellow alumni and hear advice from a panel of HR experts at this Portland Career Center event.

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CUB Policy Center Conference
October 25

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Policy Center, in partnership with the University of Oregon School of Law, presents its third annual policy conference, The Flexibility Challenge. The event will investigate the challenges facing the modern utility in the Pacific Northwest, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and demand response.

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Sara Hodges
Associate Professor of Psychology

Photo: Alexander B. Murphy, Professor of Geography and James F. and Shirley K. Rippey 
Chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences

For hundreds of freshmen each year, college begins with a prank at the hands of Sara Hodges. Standing at the front of Columbia Hall's 510-seat auditorium, Professor Hodges introduces herself, then asks that her unwitting victims do the same. She watches her students' eyes widen with horror: the thought of sitting through more than 500 introductions inspires in them a collective groan that morphs, as the joke slowly sinks in, into a sigh of relief.

A fitting ploy from a social psychologist, Hodges's hoax is part of a broader effort to inject humor into this Mind and Society course, which covers serious topics, from depression to parenting. Describing its curriculum as "the greatest hits" of psychology, Hodges also navigates these students through training in science literacy, an especially important skill for those grappling with the complexities of college-level research for the first time. "My class is sometimes a surprise for students because they think psychology is going to be all about their feelings or how their mothers treated them," she says. "A lot of what I'm teaching is actually an introduction to how we do research."

Hodges has taught dozens of first-year psychology courses and freshman interest groups (FIGs) in her 19 years at the UO, making her the friendly face at the gateway to the university for thousands of new collegians. She tries to make the most of this role as both a teacher and mentor, drawing from her own love for the college experience as she nudges freshmen in her FIGs to explore Eugene's off-campus gems, such as student-rate concerts at the Hult Center.

The opportunities to learn beyond the classroom extend to Hodges's lab, where she carves out a critical role for more advanced undergraduates in her research on "empathic accuracy," or people's ability to infer the thoughts of others. After training her student assistants (in tasks ranging from videotaping study participants in conversation to coding these interactions for empathic accuracy), she helps strongly motivated students transform their research experiences into honors thesis projects.

As the primary advisor on many of these thesis committees, Hodges steers students past the final barrier of their undergraduate educations, completing journeys that began, for many of them, with their professor's signature prank.

"I think about the idea that [my class] is their first taste of college," Hodges says. "If it's going to be their first taste, I want it to be good."

Name: Sara D. Hodges

Education: BA '89, Rhodes College; PhD '95, University of Virginia

Teaching Experience: Joined the UO faculty in 1995.

Awards: The winner of the 2013 Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching, Hodges is a five-time recipient of the James F. and Shirley K. Rippey Fund Award for Teaching Innovation and a 2008 Williams Council Fellow.

Off-Campus: A musician and dancer, Hodges plays in a string quartet with friends and performed in the dance chorus of My Fair Lady at the 2004 Oregon Festival of American Music. She also enjoys cooking, a hobby she says is offset by time in the gym trying to negate the effects of her creations.

Last Word: "A great research study can take several years to complete and publish. The little hits of accomplishment I experience while teaching provide me with more immediate gratification, which complements research really well."

—By Ben DeJarnette '13

In Brief

Photo: Sophomore biology major Nardos Tadesse is aglow with neon pigment from the packets of dyed corn flour flung onto participants during the Indian Holi Festival of Color held at the EMU lawn on a sunny day in May.

A Brilliant Student Sophomore biology major Nardos Tadesse is aglow with neon pigment from the packets of dyed corn flour flung onto participants during the Indian Holi Festival of Color held at the EMU lawn on a sunny day in May.

More for Your Money

The University of Oregon received a Best Buy ranking in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and "may be the best deal in public education on the West Coast," according to the guide, which adds that the "UO's caring faculty, excellent academics, and abundance of social activities reveal that the UO is all it's quacked up to be."

It's Official

Michael Gottfredson was ceremoniously installed as the University of Oregon's 17th president May 30. In his investiture address, Gottfredson stressed the importance of public research universities. He said the UO will sustain its mission in an era of diminishing resources by engaging the community in a bold campaign to raise an amount that will substantially exceed $1 billion, more than doubling the current endowment.

  • Archaeologist Jon Erlandson has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A professor in the Department of Anthropology and executive director of the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Erlandson is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

  • A book written by archaeologists at the UO's Museum of Natural and Cultural History earned a 2013 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award from the Oregon Heritage Commission. Coauthored by C. Melvin Aikens, emeritus professor of anthropology, Thomas Connolly, MS '80, PhD '86, and Dennis Jenkins, PhD '91, Oregon Archaeology provides a narrative of the state's cultural history, beginning with the earliest evidence of human occupation and continuing into the 20th century.

  • The UO Chamber Choir took first place honors in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival in Cork, Ireland, one of Europe's most prestigious choral arts events. The Chamber Choir, directed by Sharon Paul, professor of music, competed with a set sung in seven languages.

Alternative Transport Thrives

A UO commuter survey shows that students, along with faculty and staff members, are increasingly getting to campus by methods other than the single-person car trip. Only 18 percent of campus commuters drive to work alone, while bicycling is the top commute choice (21 percent).

Gangnam Duck

The Oregon Duck's parody of South Korean singer and rapper Psy's Gangnam Style video has attracted nearly 7 million views on YouTube and won a silver medal from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA). Oregon also earned a gold award from NACMA for its 2013 baseball poster and another silver for the "United We Ball" campaign for men's basketball.

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ESSAY | Read Dante Jordán's essay explaining his Dear World message.
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