The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Margaret Carter Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

April 18, 2016


“Carrying Eduation Wherever You Go”  April 18, 2016  Location: Carter residence, Portland, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Carter discusses her family background and upbringing in Shreveport, Louisiana, commenting on her love of school, her keen interest in music and oratory, and the important roles that her parents played in shaping her values. She then notes her abbreviated undergraduate experience at Grambling State University, her decision to marry and leave school, the jobs that she held in the years that followed, and the violent abuse that she suffered at the hands of her husband.

From there, Carter describes the vision and the circumstances that led her to move herself and her five children to Oregon. She likewise recounts the resurrection of her college ambitions, her initial contacts with Oregon State University, and her enrollment in OSU's Portland-based master's in counseling program. In reflecting on her stint as an OSU graduate student, Carter details the ways in which the program was structured, the impact that it made on her, and her ultimate transition into a counseling position at Portland Community College.

The remainder of the session is chiefly devoted to Carter's years of service in the Oregon legislature. In this, she relays the story behind her decision to run for office, speaks of her first political campaign, and notes her early involvement in a variety of educational issues. In addition, Carter reflects on run-ins that she had with various political opponents and outlines her activities as chair of the Joint Budget Committee.

The interview concludes with an expression of appreciation for the role that OSU played in Carter's life and advice that she would pass along to students of today.