The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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An Oral History of the Francois Gilfillan family. November 1, 2013

An Oral History of the Francois Gilfillan family

An interview with Nan Jensen and Ellen Johnson conducted by Anne Bahde and Trevor Sandgathe.

November 1, 2013

Location:  Valley Library, Oregon State University.

An iconic figure in the history of Oregon State University, Francois Gilfillan (1893-1983) was a Pharmacy alum of Oregon Agricultural College, graduating in the class of 1918. After a period of time spent on the East Coast, Gilfillan returned to his alma mater serving as its Dean of Science and, from 1941-1942, Acting President. A professionally trained chemist, Gilfillan was instrumental in furthering science education both regionally and nationally. Gilfillan was also a true Renaissance man who spoke or read at least nine languages, including Chinook, collected rare books and antique silver, and cultivated an authentic Japanese garden. With his wife Violette, Gilfillan raised four children including Elizabeth (Ellen) and Nansie, who share their recollections of Gilfillan family life in this interview.