Old Oregon

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Medal of Freedom


The late Minoru “Min” Yasui, a UO-educated attorney and tireless civil rights advocate, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last November. Yasui spent his life petitioning for the redress of restrictions imposed on Japanese Americans during World War II. He challenged the constitutionality of a military curfew order, spending nine months in solitary confinement as the case went through the courts. At the time of his death in 1986, a trial court had vacated his conviction and his challenge of the law’s constitutionality was before the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals. Yasui earned both an undergraduate degree and his law degree from the UO, becoming one of the first Japanese Americans to graduate from the school.

A documentary, Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice, narrated by the actor George Takei, is in production: www.minoruyasuifilm.org.



Norma Lobaugh, BA ’31, celebrated her 107th birthday on October 29 at the Golden Empire Nursing and Rehab Center in Grass Valley, California.


Wanda Burch Goines, BA ’43, stirred hearts and made headlines after she starred in a viral YouTube video, in which she recites a self-authored poem about inner beauty titled “The Giftwrap and the Jewel.”


The great American poet Robert Frost makes a three-day visit to campus, meeting with students in an informal coffee hour, touring a sawmill in Springfield, and presenting a public lecture before a packed ballroom in the Erb Memorial Union. The Spring 1956 issue of Old Oregon records several quips from the bard, including, “Saying a poem in the morning is like  having a drink for breakfast.” Cheers!


The Oregon Grand Master of Masons bestowed a 60-year medal on Bill Russell, BA ’56, acknowledging his enduring commitment to the fraternity, which began during his college years, at the McKenzie River Lodge in Eugene. He served in the Air Force until 1977, when he retired as a major.


The art museum is offering more than 400 paintings by 100 different artists for rent by businesspeople, doctors, faculty, and even students. The supervisor of the operation says many students are particularly drawn to abstract paintings, “mainly because of the wild color combinations. Some paintings just can’t miss. They go with everything.”


Two-time Olympic gold medal winner and Air Force veteran Otis Davis, BS ’60, received the UO’s Distinguished Alumni award, for both his athletic and philanthropic achievements.

Joe M. Fischer, BS ’60, MFA ’63, recently completed paintings of two primates with ties to Chimps Inc., a rescue program in Bend: Snowflake (an albino gorilla, now deceased) and Thiele (a 28-year-old chimp).

An early member of UO’s creative writing program, Barbara Drake, BA ’61, MFA ’66, published a collection of essays, Morning Light: Wildflowers, Night Skies, and Other Ordinary Joys of Oregon Country Life (Oregon State University Press, 2014).

Ernest Aebi, BS ’62, MD ’64, was delighted to hear that his brilliant 10-year-old grandson had gotten a geography question wrong—when asked to name the capitol of Texas, he responded “Autzen.”

Alaby Blivet, BS ’63, was hit by a PedalPub Mobile while crossing the street and reading about himself in the latest OQ. At press time, his dutiful granddaughter, Kimberly, BA ’09, was taking time away from her hoverboard production company to nurse him back to health.

James Shull, MFA ’63, celebrated his 80th birthday with a major exhibition of more than 100 of his drawings and paintings in a downtown Silverton, Oregon, storefront during June and July.

Leland John, BA ’63, will exhibit his paintings at the In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art Gallery in Oregon City this April.

After six years on the alumni board of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Margaret McBride Lehrman, BA ’66, was asked to represent the university on the Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee, where she will help select future trustees.

Ron Wigginton, MFA ’68, exhibited eight artworks at the Fresno Art Museum, all of which were completed while he was an artist-in-residence at the Morris Graves  Studio in California.

Joan C. Gratz, BArch ’69—who was mistakenly absent from our previously published article “Hollywood Ducks”—was an accomplished filmmaker who received an Academy Award nomination for her 1981 animated short The Creation, and later won Best Animated Short Film in 1993 for Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase.


An article in Old Oregon recounts campus shenanigans from the first two decades of the 20th century. One memorable tradition involved heating an iron cannonball in a furnace, and then rolling it noisily down the stairs from the top floor of Friendly Hall. At the bottom floor, an indignant, night-shirted instructor who lived in the building grabbed the hot metal ball, “then a sharp yell and a final thud put a period to the night’s symphony, and filled some miscreant with silent glee.”


After 25 years in the nonprofit world, Marc Levy, BS ’70, will head up Questa Education Foundation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The foundation’s goals are to increase access to postsecondary education and help students complete degrees with reduced debt and become contributing members of the 21st-century economy.

Sue Aho Dowty, BS ’74, retired in 2014 after 40 years of teaching middle school students language arts, social studies, and leadership. Last year she published ABC of Middle Level Activities (CreateSpace, 2015), a compilation of activity programs based on more than a decade of columns that she wrote for the Leadership for Student Activities magazine.

Former assistant professor and director of the Widowed and Family Grief Counselor Program at the Center for Gerontology, Delpha Jeanne Camp, MS ’77, retired after 33 years in the education and counseling field.

Frank E. Aden Jr., BS ’77, published a new book titled Boise (Arcadia Publishing, 2015) that chronicles the Idaho city’s rise.

Nonprofit executive Joanie Bayhack, BA ’78, was named executive director of the Chicago chapter of Random Acts of Flowers, an organization that recycles bouquets to surprise hospital patients.


To mark the centennial of Villard Hall, a time capsule representing 1986 has been added to the cornerstone of the landmark building. Items preserved for posterity include: essays by local schoolchildren forecasting life in 2086, fused sand from the first atomic test blast, Neil and Norma 1986 Oregon gubernatorial campaign buttons, a floppy disk of computer games, videotapes depicting life on campus and in Eugene, and large vials of water and fresh air.  


Jesse W. Barton, BA ’80, published his article “Home Free: Combatting Veteran Prosecution and Incarceration” in the fall 2014 edition of Justice Policy Journal.

Joe Sacco, BA ’81, has spent his career working in a combined medium of investigative journalism and graphic novels. Exemplifying his biting, satirical style is his latest creation, a comic series titled Bumf.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward, BS ’81, published two books this winter; Netwalk’s Children (Peak Amygdala, 2015), a third installment of her cyberpunk series, and the first volume of a high fantasy series, Pledges of Honor (CreateSpace, 2016).

A loyal Duck, Christopher Gay, BS ’82, could not convert his son John or daughter Alison, who attended the University of Utah and University of Portland, respectively. He and his wife Lori are battling empty-nest syndrome while test-driving the condo lifestyle.

Elementary school math and science teacher John A. Heldt, BS ’85, moonlights as an author; he has published his seventh novel, titled Mercer Street (2015), the second in the American Journey Series. He lives with his wife Cheryl Heldt, BA ’86, in Alabama.

Former Intel President Renée James, BA ’86, MBA ’92, joined California-based computer hardware company Oracle Corp., on the board of technology services.

Brigadier General Tammy Smith, BS ’86, will assume command of the 98th Training Division, a Reserve unit at Fort Benning in Georgia. She will be taking over for Brigadier General Michaelene Kloster, the first female general at Fort Benning. The subject of a previous OQ feature, Smith is celebrated as the first openly gay general in the US Army.

Marianne Szlyk, MA ’89, published her second book of poetry, I Dream of Empathy (Flutter Press, 2015). A professor at Montgomery College, she lives with her husband in Washington, DC. 


Oregon Quarterly looks back at George Streisinger’s groundbreaking zebrafish research during the 1970s and describes how the UO has come to lead the world in an increasingly important area of genetics research. Scientists trained at the Institute of Molecular Biology have gone on to start zebra-fish labs around the world. 


Kendra Caudle,  BA ’90, published her eighth suspense novel Known (Montlake, 2006) under the penname Kendra Elliot. She has sold two million books since her debut novel in 2012.

Cameron Blanchard, BA ’91, recently became executive vice president of corporate communications at the media company Condé Nast. Previously, she spent 20 years at NBC Universal.

Former chief of the criminal division at the Seattle Attorney’s Office Craig Sims, BA ’94, has joined the law firm Bergman Draper Landenburg, where he will represent families affected by cancer caused by asbestos inhalation.

Matt Cashion, MFA ’96, won the 2015 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction for his story “Last Words of the Holy Ghost,” published by University of North Texas Press.

A former MySpace executive, Michael Jones, BS ’97, founded startup studio Science Inc. four years ago, which helped launch Wishbone, a new poll-based social networking app that targets teens with the simple boast, “compare anything.”

Laura Edmonston, BA ’98, went on to receive a master’s degree in library sciences from Louisiana State University and a certificate of paralegal studies from Duke University. She was recently hired as assistant law librarian for the Washington State Supreme Court.

Making Waves in Seismology

Brandon Shmandt

Brandon Schmandt, PhD ’11, has earned the Donath Medal (for outstanding achievement by a scientist age 35 or younger) from the Geological Society of America (GSA). Schmandt is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. “I am honored to receive an award from GSA because the main motivation for my research in seismology is to address geologic problems,” he says. Schmandt received the award at the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland. In accepting the award, he thanked his UO mentor, Gene Humphreys, and the Ducks with whom he shared an office: Leland O’Driscoll, PhD ’12, Haiying Gao, PhD ’11, and Max Bezada (a former postdoctoral researcher at UO).


Best Lawyers selected Brian Malloy, BA ’01, for the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America. He works at Brandi Law Firm and lives in San Francisco with his wife.

A buyer for Kroger Co. and Fred Meyer Inc., Jeanie Nguyen, BA ’06, was inducted into the Accessories Magazine Merchants Hall of Fame in recognition of her retailing expertise and business acumen. She will be honored at the Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball in May.

John J. Christianson, JD ’06, was named a shareholder of Gevurtz Menashe, a family law and estate planning firm based in Portland.

Sean Ray, JD ’07, made partner at the Portland-based law firm Barran Liebman. He regularly represents management and owners in employment law matters across all industries, with a focus on hospitality and engineering clients. He also serves on the Multnomah Bar Association’s CLE committee.

Kimberly Blivet,  BA ’09, is on leave from her hoverboard production company due to technical difficulties. She is caring for her elderly grandfather Alaby Blivet, BS ’63, who was injured in a PedalPub mobile accident.


The UO chapter of College Republicans celebrates “Second Amendment Day” with a trip to a shooting range in Springfield. “We had a blast, pardon the pun,” quips the group’s chairman. He notes happily that the shooting group included both women and men.


Josh McHale, BS ’09, and John Rosman, BA ’09, are cocreators of the five-installment horror series Hunt for Oregon’s Door to the Dead, in which two documentary filmmakers investigate the sinister origins of a disturbing VHS tape. The series premiered Halloween weekend at the Hollywood Theater in Portland.

Alison Altstatt, PhD ’11, is the group vocalist and bass player of Burning Palace, a four-piece art rock group operating out of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Through a trial-and-error process of recording, the band has finally released their first EP in an effort to land more live gigs in the future.

Holly Williams, BS ’13, was promoted to aviation planner within the Portland Aviation division of WHPacific, the largest engineering company entirely owned by Native Americans.

Natalie Miller, MBA ’14, and Steve Baer, MBA ’14, created Apply101, a free college application management tool that allows students, parents, and counselors to keep track of every step of the process in one place.

Kate Rogers McCarty, MA ’42, died on November 3 at age 98 in Parkdale, Oregon. She was passionate about protecting the land she had grown up on, and devoted her life to conservation advocacy. She founded the Hood River Valley Residents Committee and Friends of Mount Hood, helped charter 1000 Friends of Oregon, and was an active member of countless other organizations.

Billy “Gene” Noland, BS ’49, MS ’51, died on August 28 at the age of 91. He served in the Air Force as a B-24 pilot and then married his wife Jean before attending the UO. He spent 34 years teaching in Oregon schools, and after retirement devoted much of his time to  creating art.

Alexander Bruce Cleary, BBA ’50, died on May 22 at the age of 89 in Bay Pines, Florida. A decorated colonel, he served in World War II, Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam over the course of 28 years. A beloved father and grandfather, he was interred with honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Robert Alvin Doak Jr., BS ’52, MS ’53, died on May 16 at age 87. He began his career as a petroleum geologist for Texaco. He later worked independently, making major oil and gas discoveries in the US and Papua New Guinea. A great believer in hard work and high ethical standards, he is remembered for his great generosity.

Albert Martin, BA ’53, died at age 83 on October 15 in Portland, Oregon. A member of Beta Theta Pi, he was coached by Bill Bowerman and lettered in track and field. He served in the Navy and later worked as a sports editor for several years before becoming a financial advisor. He loved life, golfing, and spending time with his family.

Gail (West) McLaren, BS ’56, died on November 26 at the age of 81. She met her husband Richard at a university dance, and they married one year after her graduation. She is remembered as a loving mother, wife, and philanthropist.

Robert Allen Kear, MArch ’59, died on January 3 at age 80 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. A well-known local architect and painter, he also worked nationally on building projects for Xerox and Monsanto. He was an active community member, and loved to spend time painting landscapes of his surroundings.

Mitchell P. Scott, class of ’64, died on October 22 in Charbonneau, Oregon. During school he was an Alpha Tau Omega brother and a sports writer for the Daily Emerald. He enjoyed a successful career in marketing, and was eventually elected first national officer of the American Advertising Federation.

Thomas W. Martin, PhD ’66, died on June 15 at age 81 in Lafayette, Colorado. He served with the Air Force in Korea, and worked as a sociology professor at Temple University, Southern Illinois, and Colorado State. Fondly termed a “renaissance man,” his intellectual curiosity was boundless.

Mark Jerome  Malinauskas, PhD ’70, died on December 8 at age 76 in Murray, Kentucky. He taught in England, worked as an entertainment director for the Third Army, and served as director of theater at Murray State University for 15 years. He was a distinguished professor at MSU, received the Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Service Award, and wrote several theater studies textbooks.

Edwin C. Cadman, MD ’71, died on September 23 at age 70 in Corvallis, Oregon. He served as chair of the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine for almost 10 years, and ended his career as dean of the University of Hawaii’s School of  Medicine. In addition to earning numerous awards for his research and teaching, he was a competitive runner.

Rosamund “Robin” Jaqua, MEd ’71, PhD ’75, died November 9 at age 94. Well known for her work as a Jungian pyschoanalyst, she was also a high profile philanthropist in the Eugene area, supporting family welfare programs, environmental protection, and the arts. She and her late husband John Jaqua, BS ’49, BL ’50, were also leading supporters of the UO. The law library, an academic center for student athletes, and a library for Jungian studies in the College of Education all bear the  Jaqua name.

Pauline Kung Bjorem, DMA ’05, died on November 15 at the age of 45 in Dallas, Texas. At age 14, she became the first Malaysian to be accepted to the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School of Music in Surrey, England, where she majored in piano performance. A celebrated musician, she performed throughout England, Wales, Malaysia, and the US.

Angela Uys, BS ’14, died in November at age 26 while rock climbing at Yosemite National Park. A South African native, she is remembered as a bright student, a great friend, and happiest when in nature. She had planned to attend medical school.

Professor Emerita of  geography Susan Hardwick died on November 11 at age 70. She received her PhD from the University of California, Davis, and became a UO professor in 2000. The recipient of many awards, including the George J. Miller Award for Distinguished Service and the Outstanding Professor Award for the entire California State University System, she was also a well-published scholar and a leading member of multiple professional organizations in the field of geography.

An accomplished author and beloved writing teacher, Ehud Havazelet died on November 5 at age 60 in Corvallis, Oregon. Born in Jerusalem and raised in a tight-knit Orthodox community in New York, he graduated from Columbia University and later worked at Oregon State University before settling at the UO.  He was a two-time winner of the Oregon Book Award, in 1999 and 2008.

A former director of animal care at the University of Oregon Medical School, now known as OHSU, Allan Leslie Rogers died in October at age 93 in Wilsonville, Oregon. He received a degree in animal husbandry from the University of Connecticut, where he met his wife Dorothy. They spent many years raising dairy goats, thoroughbred horses, and perennial plants, in addition to their five children.

What can tunes and the tasty treats tell us about making good experiences better?

Thousands of Velella velella, jellyfish relatives, washed ashore on Oregon beaches in April, and now are littering beaches in New Zealand.

Alumnus Edgardo Simone is a successful composer and orchestrator of Hollywood blockbusters, including the Spider-Man and Men in Black franchises