James C. Howland earned an engineering degree from Oregon State College in 1938 and attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After serving with engineering units in Hawaii and Saipan during World War II, he returned to Corvallis, Oregon, in 1946. With fellow Oregon State alumni Holly Cornell, T. Burke Hayes, and Fred Merryfield, Howland founded CH2M, an engineering consulting firm, in 1946. Howland served as general manager for 20 years and chairman of the board in 1974-1977.
Howland married Ruth (Meisy) Meisenhelder in 1941 and they had four children: Mark, Joyce, Eric, and Peter. Howland was active in the Madison Avenue Task Force to beautify the avenue which connects the Oregon State University campus with downtown Corvallis and was instrumental in the development of the Riverfront Park project in downtown Corvallis in the 1990s. Howland was an active member of the Oregon State College Class of 1938 and participated in reunion planning beginning in 1963. Howland was also an accomplished artist, focusing on silk-screen printing. Howland was born in Oregon City on June 2, 1916; he died in Corvallis on August 28, 2008.
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