The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Tim Hall Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

June 25, 2014


Timothy LaFayette Hall was born in Los Angeles, California in 1955. Growing up, Hall was actively engaged with water sports including swimming, scuba diving and life guarding. An excellent student, Hall chose to attend Oregon State University out of an interest in pursuing a career in oceanography.

Hall arrived at OSU in 1973, a time period during which the African American community on campus continued to be decimated by the backlash caused by the controversy over Fred Milton, an African American football player who, in 1969, had been disciplined by coach Dee Andros for refusing to shave his facial hair. This conflict led to a walkout organized by the Black Student Union and contributed to low African American student enrollments at OSU in the years that followed.

During his time in Corvallis, Hall helped to advance the process of rebuilding the African American community on campus, in part through his contributions to the creation of the OSU Black Cultural Center. As a student, Hall also worked in the library and at the Corvallis branch of Hewlett Packard, all the while pursuing a degree in Technical Journalism, which he completed in 1978.

Hall has since enjoyed a successful career in public relations, working first at Occidental Petroleum in his native Los Angeles, and later relocating to Portland for a position in communications with Kaiser Permanente. Since 1999 he has worked for the Portland Water Bureau, most recently as its Manager for Public Information and Involvement. Hall is also actively involved with numerous volunteer initiatives including a lengthy service to the OSU President's Board of Advisors for Minority Affairs.