The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Betty Lu Anderson Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

June 1, 2017


Betty Lu Anderson (nee Nixon) was born in 1923 in Portland, Oregon, where she has lived for the majority of her life. As a girl, she learned sewing and canning skills which ultimately informed her decision to attend Oregon State College and major in Home Economics.

Betty Lu's interest in attending college also arose out of her work on her high school newspaper, The Franklin High Post. A talented writer, Betty Lu was encouraged by an influential English teacher - and Oregon State graduate - to enroll at OSC and pursue work at the college newspaper, The Barometer. Notably, Betty Lu worked as a sports writer for The Barometer and, during her senior year, served as editor of the paper as well.

After graduating from OSC in 1945, Betty Lu returned to Portland to work for The Oregonian, initially as a clerk charged with writing recipe leads and answering telephone inquiries regarding Home Ec matters. She was later promoted to an editorial position with responsibilities in the paper's Women's department. Altogether, she worked for The Oregonian for fifteen years.

Following her career in journalism, Anderson pursued a new life in librarianship and the church. In 1971, having attended summer and night classes in library studies at the University of Portland, Betty Lu became the librarian for the Western Baptist Seminary in southeast Portland. Her professional affiliation with the seminary lasted for twenty-nine years, during which time she made significant contributions to the expansion of the library's collecting purview, incorporating poetry and history among other non-religious subjects.