The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Pat Stone Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

July 2, 2015


“On Finding Continuity in Life and Making a Difference”  July 2, 2015  Location: Williston Financial Group offices, Portland, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Stone discusses his family background and upbringing in North Dakota. He then shares a few memories of his two tours serving in the Vietnam War during his years as an enlisted soldier in the United States Army, and likewise speaks of the period of readjustment that he experienced following his return to civilian life. In this, he notes taking classes at Southern Oregon College, rekindling his love of history, and attending a lecture delivered by William Appleman Williams that spurred in him the interest to enroll at Oregon State University.

As he reflects on his undergraduate stint at OSU, Stone provides his perspective on campus culture in the early 1970s and recalls his interactions with a few influential professors, including Mark Sponenburgh - an art historian and "Monuments Man" who inspired Stone's own avid interest in collecting art - and archaeologist Richard Ross. He likewise recalls some of the broader trends that were prevailing in U.S. culture during his time at OSU.

From there, Stone provides an outline of his career path following college. He describes the means by which he arrived at the title business as a career niche, discusses his affiliation with various companies in the world of real estate, and speaks of meeting and marrying his wife, Vicki, in the mid-1990s.

The final third of the interview is devoted to Stone's continuing connection to OSU. He discusses his long-term affection and support for the library, his involvement as a donor to athletics and the College of Science, and his earliest work as a board member at the OSU Foundation. He likewise shares the background behind the creation of both the Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement as well as the OSU History department's Citizenship in Crisis initiative. The session concludes with Stone's reflections on the forward evolution of the OSU Foundation, his co-chairing of the Campaign for OSU, his receipt of the E.B. Lemon Award, and his expression of gratitude toward OSU for the role that it has played in his life.