The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Jo Anne Trow Oral History Interview

December 13, 2013 – 1:00p.m.

Video: “A Pioneer for Women at OSU” . December 13, 2013

Location: Trow residence, Corvallis, Oregon.
Interviewer:  Janice Dilg

1:38:20 - Abstract | Biography | Download Transcript (PDF)


Janice Dilg: So, I am Janice Dilg, and I am here interviewing Jo Anne Trow at her home in Corvallis, Oregon, for the Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Project. Good afternoon.

Jo Anne Trow: Good afternoon, Jan.

JD: So, Jo Anne, if you would, please begin by giving us your whole name, and just talk a little bit about where you were born, and just a primer on your early life.

JT: I am Jo Anne Johnson Trow. I was born and grew up in an industrial town in northeastern Ohio, Youngstown, Ohio, and also outside, in a little suburb. And I went to public school there and went on to college at Dennison University in central Ohio, a small liberal arts college, which was a fine school, where I learned a lot, and it was a really good experience. And it was there that I really probably began to be involved in the kinds of things that turned out to be my life's career, that is, student affairs. When I finished at Dennison, I went on to work a year in social work in Cleveland, but through the urging of a Dean of Women from Dennison, decided to go back to graduate school, which I did at Indiana.

My parents, who still were in Ohio, were supportive of that, and I had an assistantship, so again, it was good work experience, as well as helping to pay for that graduate work at Indiana University. From there, I returned to Dennison to work for three years, which was again, a very fine experience, because it's a great institution and it continues to be. I keep in touch through the alumni magazine and through the people that not only that I was in school with, but with some of the students that I knew there as a professional person.

But I decided I wanted to explore some other parts of the country, so I looked again through the professional organizations, of where they had job interviews available, and saw some jobs available at San Jose State in California, and Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, and that's pretty far away from Ohio. And interviewed at both places, and had a hard time deciding, because in each case, the woman with whom I would work—I would be an Assistant Dean of Women—was well-known in the profession, and I felt it would be a good experience just to have that kind of an opportunity.

I ultimately ended up choosing Pullman. Exactly why, I'm not sure, but it was a good choice. It took a while to get used to Pullman. There aren't many trees outside around Pullman, but you come to love that Palouse country, and if you want trees, you can just drive ten miles east into Idaho, and there are lots of trees in Idaho. So, I spent four years there and had good experience, began to be involved in the professional organizations more, and was encouraged very much by the professional staff there in my work. I worked primarily with women students there as the Assistant Dean of Women; that was the tradition of the profession at that time, but knew that if I wanted to be more involved, and move ahead in the profession, I needed to get a doctorate.

So again, I applied to various places and looked at Stanford, and was accepted there; went to look at Illinois, was accepted; and finally decided Michigan State, again, because of the people that I had come to know professionally who were there, were the ones that I knew I could learn something from. And also, I had inherited a little bit of money at that point, so I thought, I'm going to try to do this in two years, or as soon as—or instead of waiting for four or five years to do a doctorate, I was a little anxious to get back to work. And so, I managed to do this by going summers, and working pretty hard, and taking full loads. And so, I ended up finishing up in the spring of 1965.

My idea then was to work a couple of years in some institution where I would like it. Ultimately, I thought I would go back to Ohio, because it's where my family was. But in the meantime I had become kind of attached to this Pacific Northwest, and had had opportunities through attending professional organization meetings to go to the other side of the mountains when I was at Pullman, and to see what it was like. And so, I got a phone call in the spring of '65, from a former colleague who'd been at Pullman when I was, [0:05:00] and was now the new Dean of Students at Oregon State University in Corvallis. And so, wanted to know if I was interested in the job, that there was currently the Dean of Women, planned to retire in a year, and that I would be hired as the assistant dean, and then I would come to Oregon State, and then I would become the Dean of Women at Oregon State. That was before the days of affirmative action. As far as I know, nobody else was interviewed for the job [laughs], but, so it was a decision that really was not hard to—I had a couple of other job offers some places in the—mainly in the middle west. I wasn't interested in going to the south or the southwest at that point, so that was how I ended up at Oregon State.

JD: So, you came to Oregon State University in 1965, and Corvallis was probably a slightly different place then. Talk a little about your first impressions of coming to Corvallis, and the campus, what it looked like, what it felt like.

JT: Actually, my first encounter here in Corvallis had been back in—probably was in the spring of 1963, when Bob Chick, who had just come as the Dean of Students, asked me to come down from Pullman to do a workshop for the house mothers of the sororities. They had one of those every spring, and he asked me to come down and to run this workshop, and to talk with them about how to relate to students, how to do the sorts of things that we expect house mothers to do, to be aware of student needs. My background academically all along has been in the social sciences. I was a sociology major in college, with some psych. I had a counseling degree and my master's degree, and then administration is the doctorate, but always carried sociology as a minor in all of those. So my interests were very much in those areas, and so that was a natural kind of thing for me to be involved in.

To your question: my first impression of Corvallis was, at that time, when I came down, and I remember Bob's wife picked me up at the train—I came on the train—picked me up at the train in Albany, and we drove over. And I remember driving, and oh, I think this is really kind of nice looking country, and Corvallis seemed very small. There wasn't much out on the—it would be the north of Circle Boulevard. In fact, streets often didn't even go that far. And the development where my friends lived had just been opened, and so there weren't very many houses there.

And the campus was just delightful! The campus had a certain sense about it that was—that it was all together. It looked like the buildings belonged to each other, that they weren't just buildings that had been flung up, depending upon who decided they needed something at the time. And I have since found out that it was a plan, which was really very good ideas, good planning, on the part of those early architects and people here at Oregon State. And that kind of a concern for the architecture has continued, if people want to look at the buildings in that respect.

But my first impression was that this was a pleasant place. It was bigger than the four years—where I had been living for the last four years, but I'm not someone who necessarily has to have a big city. And I found that the people that I had contact with here were just very genuine people, and they were some of whom I had met through professional organizations. And the students were interested. I didn't have a whole lot of contact with students then, because it was right—it was right after school was out that this workshop was, in the late spring. But the few students I met they were nice. So, my first impression was very favorable, so that probably influenced my decision when I was offered the job.

JD: So, as you've been talking about how you set out your educational career, and here you come, across the country to Oregon, it would seem to me that was not that common for [0:10:00] a young woman of that day and age, to get a doctorate, be thinking kind of so career-minded from the get-go. Have you thought about that, or what your influences were in your early life that gave you that drive and confidence?

JT: Throughout my early years, I'd say when I started, maybe, when I was in high school, my mother always indicated that whatever I wanted to do was okay, that I should think in terms of what I thought was something that would be worthwhile, and of interest to me, and there was never any pressure to do something one way or the other. My decision of where I went to college, for instance, was my own. So I think, in a way, that was part of it. But also, I didn't have any particular emotional attachments at the time. Off and on, there had been some things, but they didn't really—nothing that was very long-lasting.

And there was the interest in wanting to do something that was worthwhile, so that there would be an outcome that meant something to somebody else, too. And I don't think I ever actually verbalized that, but I think that was probably part of the reason that I wanted to—and also, there's a little bit of an adventure to coming to someplace that's new and different. The first year that I was here, I did a lot of going around looking at places, to the coast, to Marys Peak, to the mountains, and to just finding out about things.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: And your question about that women didn't do this very much—a lot of the women that I was in graduate school with, in my master's degree, pretty much tended to stay around where their families were, so I don't know why I decided to go off away. I mean, my family's fine; I like them. But in my doctoral program there weren't very many other women, so that wasn't an issue. So.

JD: Mm-hm. So, you come. The university's really changing at this point. It hadn't been many years earlier, I think it was 1961, that bachelor's degrees in humanities and social sciences were part of the curriculum.

JT: Mm-hm.

JD: Talk a little about how you found the campus when you came, and how you felt, like how you were going to fit in, and how—what those changes were about, and what you thought about them?

JT: I know that some of the contacts that I made when I first came, people that I was introduced to in social settings, and on the campus as colleagues, were people that were part of this new way, the Dean of H and SS, Humanities and Social Sciences, was new to the campus, and was a friend of my mentor there, the Dean of Students. And I also immediately became acquainted with some of the people who were involved with the other women on the campus. The then Dean of Women, Helen Moore, was very good about introducing me to people, and being sure that people knew that I was going to be her successor, and was very generous in that respect. And she was a very gracious person.

At the same time, I was aware, as was Dean Chick, that the whole student affairs profession was beginning to change, that the emphasis had generally been on women professionals being concerned about women, and housing, and discipline, and activities, etcetera, and the men's professionals with the men in those areas. But it was beginning to change, particularly as the titles, of Dean of Students rather than Dean of Men and Dean of Women, and even in some cases, then, Vice President for Student Affairs, or Student Personnel—that it was often the man that was appointed to that. One of the things that Bob talked to me about when coming to this job was that he had a vision for making some of these changes within the structure, and he had evidently had the okay from the president.

So, the same time that I came, a [0:15:00] man was hired, a fellow with a doctorate, who was to be the director of housing for all men's and women's housing, so it wasn't—and also at that point, that was when financial aid began to grow as an area, because prior to that, men and women's financial aid, mainly scholarships, had been administered, again, along these gender lines. And so, that was another way that it looked like there was going to be the need for a person to overlook all of this financial aid situation, whether now with the grants and the loans that were becoming apparent.

And so, in those first four years, we worked as a staff toward kind of merging all of these things, and so, then eventually it worked toward, in 1969, then, that we changed the titles of Dean of Men and Dean of Women to Associate Deans of Students. And so Dan Poling, great man—he has an archive out at the Benton County Historical Society of his years, early years, as well as his years here on the campus that's a valuable archive, but a great guy. But he had been the Dean of Men; I was to be the Dean of Women, and was, basically, for three years, the university's last Dean of Women.

But then we were assuming responsibilities in various—for all the students. I had the residence halls, and I worked with discipline. There was another Associate Dean of Students who had been hired, again, about the same time, who then was working with the Memorial Union, and student activities, and student media, the newspaper and so forth. We began working as a team that then worked with all of the students, not just the gender that we happened to be. And so that was one of the things that I was interested in, and that I saw was changing at the time.

The other thing was that the—in loco parentis had been, and in many ways continued to be, a very prevalent kind of a philosophy in student affairs, and people, young women, today can't understand there were ever closing hours, when they had to be back in their living group at a certain hour, or that there were restrictions on what you could wear. But the kind of ideas that we were trying to promote were that you needed to have the opportunity to make some decisions in somewhat controlled situations, so that you would know what it was like to suffer the consequences of a decision, for instance, and that you had to decide at what hour you would come in, and that you didn't have to be told that you could only wear certain kinds of clothing in certain situations.

But you had to learn that there were certain kinds of responsibilities that you also had, that there were certain limits that you could place on. There was appropriate dress for certain occasions. There were limits in terms of hours. If you stayed out all night, you weren't going to have very much time to study, and you'd have a little difficulty with your academic work, or you would get into—you could get into other kinds of trouble.

So, we began to work toward gradually implementing more liberal kinds of, I guess you'd call them social policies, which is what we were doing. So those were some of the things, when I first came, that we saw this as kind of a vision of what we were beginning to—and recognizing that there was afoot, even in the late sixties, more of a movement toward more opportunities for women.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: And we could probably talk about Title IX later, because that came along in '72, and some of the things that happened there, but.

JD: Absolutely, we will. And as you're talking about your team, and making these decisions, and knowing that there were changes in the profession of student affairs, how did that work with the rest of the administration? Was there much resistance? Was your team kind of bringing the news to the rest of the university, and how did that work out?

JT: Well, I don't think there was resistance, at least on campus. I mean, there might have been, but I— [0:20:00] although one of the stories that I tell was that the first year that I was the Dean of Women, it was the second year I was here. The man who was the Dean of the College of Forestry called, made an appointment, came to call, and was, you know, "Congratulations, and I'm Dean McCullough, etcetera." And continued on in the conversation to inform me that I would never have any trouble with—my students would never give him—or that his students would never give me any trouble. Oh? "Well, there are no women students in the College of Forestry and there won't be!" Well, that soon changed. [Laughs]

But that, I think, was indicative to me that there was a certain mindset that there were traditional kinds of expectations of women's roles. A young woman came to me in those first couple of years. She wanted to work out in the sheep barns, because she needed to work and she had been raised on a sheep farm, and she knew—but the head of the department said, "We just don't allow women to do this. You know, it just isn't safe. We can't do this." Well, of course that's done all the time now. And students would tell me how they were not called upon in classes in certain of the colleges, because the professors basically said they wouldn't—came right out and told them they wouldn't know what they were talking about, anyway.

So, I'm sure that as we began to make some of these changes, there were people who couldn't understand why we were doing this. But we had the support of the larger administration, and the thing that we did that I've always thought might have made a difference is we didn't do it all at once. We did it gradually. We didn't just all of a sudden say, "There will be no closing hours for women, period." We started out with seniors who had a grade point above a 3.0, could have a card key. And then we would, you know, just work gradually. And we also spent a lot of time—I spent a lot of time talking to mother's clubs. There were a lot of—we had mother's clubs throughout the state.

JD: Define what that is, for people who are not going to have any idea.

JT: Oh, it's a club composed of mothers of students at Oregon State, and it was started back by Dean Kay Jameson back in the 1920s, along with Mrs. Miles Cooper, who was a Portland social person, who had a child here. And she was organizing the mothers to just be concerned about what was going on on the campus, and to—they would give scholarships, and they would have teas, and they would do various things, but they also seemed to—they had a lot of influence.

And so before we did any of this, I would go to Portland and talk to the mother's club, and when things would—they would get all excited about some of the changes, I would talk to the mother's club about how these things were going on. And you know, these things are kind of amusing now, and I kind of—but it was serious then, and you had to be careful, because the university—the university was important to those people, just as it is important to people today, and you didn't want to destroy their faith in what we were doing, but you wanted them to understand. And most of them did. And there are even some girls, the women students, who would say, "Oh, now I'm going to have to tell him I don't want to stay out. I don't have the excuse of not having to say, 'Oh, it's closing hour.'" [Laughs]

JD: [Laughs]

JT: So, I think that part of the reason that we were able to be successful in this is that we used a gradual—I called it the evolutionary, rather than the revolutionary, approach. University of Oregon, down south, they didn't do this for a number of years. The Dean of Women there was adamantly opposed to this sort of thing. But then it all happened all at once, once the Vietnam thing and all of the drugs culture came in. They really went—but—.

JD: Well, why don't you talk about that a little? Because certainly the sixties and seventies were decades of incredible social and cultural upheaval in this country, on college campuses as well as off. And you mentioned the Vietnam War. There was certainly the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Rights Movement. Talk a little about kind of what those changes looked like on the OSU campus.

JT: When the affirmative action, or Title IX came into effect, it was—the reaction among the administration on the campus was mainly concerned about athletics. Or excuse me, [0:25:00] it was mainly concerned about admissions, because that was the thing that precipitated it, was the—I can't remember the name of the law suit, but anyway, it was that admissions had not been fair. And so, you had to be fair in your admissions practices. But I said to the administration, "You're going to have to think about this in terms of student activities, admissions into academic programs. You're going to have to think about it in terms of athletics." And of course, that just frightened everybody.

And so, that was I think where you began to see some changes. First of all, what happened on the campus and the culture here. There wasn't—I wouldn't say there was a big women's movement at the beginning. I can talk a little bit about some stuff dealing with the faculty women that might be interesting, too, that happened in the early sixties. But women's athletics then—and I hope that somebody is going to be talking with people like Sylvia Moore, who was involved for many years with women's athletics, and really understands and could see what was happening internally. But what women's athletics had to do—they had to go through all sorts of difficult times in order to perform, to do their job, to play their games. They had to travel by vans. They had to sleep on motel floors, because they were all jammed into one room. They didn't have all of the advantages that they do today.

I remember when serving on the Women's Athletic Board they said, "We really need to somehow or other find some money to get an ice machine." I wasn't quite sure why they needed an ice machine until they told me, why obviously with athletes, especially gymnasts, you need ice on their poor old joints, poor young joints. But there was just very little attention paid to women's athletics. But Title IX, again, began to push this. But I think it took a while for a lot of the academic areas to realize that this is something that they just couldn't automatically dismiss. Then also, you needed to have some time to sort of foment, for women themselves to say, "I want to be an engineer. I want to major in Economics. I want to go into Ag," you know. If you want an interesting picture of how this has changed, is to go into some of the buildings of engineering, like Covell and Batcheller, or go into Withycombe Hall down for Agriculture, and along the walls are framed photos of the graduates, little head shots of all the graduates. Go on for year after year after year, all men. All men. Occasionally, maybe, a woman. And it's not until you get up into the eighties, and even the nineties, that you begin to get any number of women. Forestry was the same way.

And Pharmacy, interestingly enough, always has had women in it. There were women in the College of Pharmacy back in the 1900s, early 1900s. I think it took some time for some of the women students themselves to begin to say, "It's okay for me to want to be an engineer, and I can get some support for it if I do this. I will have some people stand behind me," and then at the same time, getting the faculty to come around, and eventually, getting some female faculty members who would then be supportive. But you've got to get them schooled at the undergraduate level before they could go on to the graduate level, to start with. So, I think in terms of the Women's Movement, I think that gradually began to take hold on this campus.

The Women's Center was also formed then in the seventies, and that was a result of a situation in the Economics Department with a faculty member, who they wanted to find a place for, and she then formed the Women's Center, along with some of the rest of us, Margaret Lumkey, Jeanne Dost, and I. And that then became a focal point where people, women, could come and get some support, and would also be a spokesperson for women. Also began to teach some courses in women's [0:30:00] studies. That was when the women's studies program began. That's a whole issue in itself, that whole story. But the drug culture was an issue here but I don't think it was as much of an issue as it was in some of the other campuses. We had students using marijuana; we had students with LSD episodes. Even in the early —in the late sixties when I first came, I know there were faculty who were having marijuana parties. Just, it wasn't flaunted for some reason or other, as much as I know it was on some campuses.

What really began to show, in terms of the counter-culture, was the opposition to the Vietnam War and to the military. And again, the Student Affairs team had to sort of be the eyes that were seeing everything that was going on, and try to control it. And the people who were probably most responsible for knowing what was happening with these groups were the people in student activities. But there were—I remember one young woman from a really fine family in Portland who got involved in what was known then as "the hippies," and went off to live down in southern Oregon. And her parents were distraught, and there was no way we could bring her back. Again, she decided this was what she wanted to do. And for a while I kept track of her, and she eventually managed to get herself some kind of a job, and was able to support herself. And there were other students who would begin to get involved in the drug culture, or into—but were not actively soliciting other people.

You know, people in the Counseling Center would know more about these things than would I, but yet, anything major would—the Vietnam War—you may have read in some of the research you've done about the Anti-Military Ball. One of the things that happened in as a regular thing on the campus was the Military Ball. It had been going on forties, fifties, sixties. The ROTC, every spring, would have a ball, just like you had the Sophomore Cotillion, and the Junior Prom, and etcetera. Betty Co-Ed and Joe College Dances. But these people—one year, some of the people, led somewhat by a rather militant faculty member, who still lives here in town, threw a smoke bomb into the Anti-Military Ball down in the MU Ballroom, and that caused hell.

And so then they decided they would stage their own Anti-Military Ball, so they all dressed up and—but again, one of the things that we felt was, you don't say, "No, you can't do that." You try to get them to do it within the rules that you have. If you're going to do it, you've got to schedule it. If you're going to do it, you're going to follow the prescription for having chaperones. And so we tried to help people to understand: you can protest, but let's not make it so difficult for everybody, and you can, you know, say, give your piece, and people will listen to you this way.

When the Kent State incident happened, that tragic situation where the students were shot, every campus wanted to go on—cancel classes, and have teach-ins, and so forth. And that was the year that Roy Young was the Acting President, and he and Dean Chick Manton said, "You know, we've got to let have the students have some opportunity to think about this." And so what they did was they opened up the MU; kept it open all night long. People were there providing some food. People could come and talk, and could do things, and gave the opportunity for faculty, if they wanted to, in their classes to talk about this, to do that. And I've always admired Oregon State for being—and I think that they still are—willing to look at these things in ways that are reasonable. When Martin Luther King was killed, there were a group gathered [0:35:00] on campus, and as they walked through the campus, to march downtown to protest this, and march all the way downtown, more and more you know students would come, and faculty would come out of the buildings, to join the march as they came along.

Another—the students wanted to protest military recruiters, and so, they went up into what is now Gilkey Hall, the Social Sciences, to the dean's office, who was Dean Gilkey at the time, and had a sit-in outside his office, so he would tell the recruiters they couldn't stay. But again, you didn't pull them away with policemen. You tried to talk with them, and to get others to understand what it was they were trying to do, and give them a forum, otherwise, where they could have their piece.

JD: So, how much direct contact did you have, as an Associate Dean of Students, directly with students? How much was your work more with other administration, and there was another level who had the personal contact with students?

JT: When I was Associate Dean I had a lot more contact than when I became Vice President. That was one of the disadvantages of moving up in the administration, is you begin to lose contact with students. But I still advised student groups, worked with—had individual contacts with students, and had a lot more opportunity that way. But once you became—when I became the Vice President for Student affairs, and then eventually they changed the title to Vice Provost, the contact with students was somewhat diminished, although I still continued to advise the student government organization. But it was just much more contact, then, with the other staff, and working with the people that you had hired as director of this and that.

JD: Mm-hm, mm-hm. So in the seventies, there was—I'm not sure if it began in the seventies? The College Student Services Graduate Program?

JT: Oh, yes. That began in the sixties. That was another reason I came to Corvallis, was that Bob was interested, and Bob Chick thought we ought to have a good training program here, and we could do this with the kind of organization that he envisioned setting up, to train people in student affairs. There really wasn't one on the west coast. There had been on kind of up at Western Washington in Bellingham, but, so it was in 19—it was in the late sixties that the School of Education agreed to hire a person in education, a regular professor type. Art Tollifson came in and to be the director of the program, and we set up a master's and a doctoral program.

And the whole philosophy of that program was that you had—the courses would be taught by professionals. So you wouldn't just be taught by a professor, but like the course in financial aid was taught by the director of financial aid. Activities was taught by the director of activities. MU administration, Memorial Union Administration was taught by the person who was holding that position. So we all were faculty, and were advisors to the students. The other thing that we said was that we wanted people who came into the program to have had some kind of experience outside of the—outside of education, or at least of higher education. They couldn't come directly from their senior year into the program.

And so, over the years it has been a very good—it's kind of had its ups and downs lately, because eventually, we lost the professor. Art left, and the School of Education wasn't willing to continue to fund another person, although they would fund a little bit. But we basically ran the program out of the Student Affairs Division, and I would—when Art left, I became director of it, and continued in that role until I retired. And then, the fellow who was Associate Dean of Students then became the director, and then there's somebody in education now. But they still offer the program.

And at the time we also lost the regular academic appointment, we also lost the doctoral program. But many of the students, who are doctoral students particularly, have gone on, and have been vice presidents and deans of students at major institutions throughout the country, so it's been a good program.

JD: Mm-hm. And [0:40:00] you actually taught some courses?

JT: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, every year.

JD: What courses did you teach?

JT: Well, I taught Introduction to Student Affairs, and for a couple of years I taught a course—I can't remember exactly what the title was, but it was sort of multi-cultural course, in terms of—particularly to help students understand how the culture of Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, can influence what it is that they are, their expectations are when they're in higher education, and what kinds of roles that they expect supervisors to play, etcetera. So, and that was a very good experience, too.

But mainly I taught the introductory course, and I advised a lot of doctoral students, who have gone. [Laughs] The other day I was in the Market of Choice, and this fellow who had been one of my doctoral students, who had been one that was—you had to really rein him in, because he had so many ideas, in so many directions. He was there with his son, and he said, "Here, I want you to meet Dr. Trow. She was the one who pushed me through that degree!" [Laughs] But he's done very well since then, and has really done a good job. But there were probably—I probably had, maybe, twenty doctoral students. I can't remember exactly how many.

JD: Mm-hm. So as you're talking about both just kind of the changes with the sixties and seventies, and multi-cultural classes that you taught, assuming as a student affairs, and particularly, you were talking about residences, that you were pretty integral in the integration of Oregon State University. And how did that play out?

JT: Well you know, it was interesting that it—of course, one of the big issues, I think, at Oregon State that happened just before I came, and played out in this finality of the first year I was here was the Eugene Okino situation, where a fraternity wanted to pledge and initiate an Asian American. And their requirements were that they had to notify all of the living alumni of that chapter, on their list of people. And this alumni down in California saw this name on the list, and said, "No way are you going to do this."

So the students said, "We want to do this," and eventually the university backed the students, and said—and what that precipitated was, then, a big discussion that Bob Schick and Dean Poling, and I had about the influence that alumni were having on the selection of the members of the fraternities and sororities, the national fraternities and sororities. And it was more—there weren't many fraternities that did what this particular fraternity did, but almost every sorority had this requirement that you had to have a recommendation from an alum before you could be actually pledged and initiated into the group. So that caused a great deal of concern on the part of national organizations [laughs], on the part of what Oregon State was doing. But as far as I know, we still make it very clear that no student shall be denied membership in a student organization because an outside group says that they cannot be a member. And of course, we have the general non-discrimination clause, no discrimination based upon all the usual things.

There have always been a few African Americans at Oregon State, and a lot of times they were the athletes: football players, track athletes, finally basketball players. But it was only in the seventies that we began—when they began to actively recruit some, and of course, there have been a whole number of things. Again, it's a matter of just trying to educate people, educate the other students, many of whom had never—kids from eastern Oregon would come over here, and they had never encountered any African Americans. A lot of Hispanics, of course, live over there, and a lot of the Asian Americans, who were interned over in eastern Idaho, they've continued to live over there. So that wasn't as much of an issue. [0:45:00]

And particularly as we began to get more students coming from here in the valley from the migrant stream, who were coming, and they established the Educational Opportunity Office, which was the office that was then set up to mentor and shepherd the minority students through. And for a while, that was part of Student Affairs, but Bob felt very strongly, and I agreed with him, that that's an academic situation. It's not something that Student affairs—although it's back in Student Affairs now, by the way. But it was an academic responsibility, and that the academic people really needed to be more aware of what's going on, and what the needs of these students were.

I'm not sure how much Oregon State is integrated, still. I think it's really difficult. There are a number of African American fraternities and sororities that have formed and that have chapters here. They're national organizations, and they have chapters here, and they relate to the other fraternities and sororities, and they have support from the college. And there's always been the great support on the cultural centers. That was something that was started, again, from Student Affairs, that I wasn't as directly involved with that, but the Memorial Union took responsibility for kind of overseeing this, and getting the facility. Now they're building these wonderful, new facilities that we'd had hope for for years. The Native-American one is finished. The Caesar Chavez for the Latinas-Latinos is on the process of being completed, and the plans are under way to move the house, the Lonnie B. Harris House for the African-Americans—move that house and to build this new facility on that space, which is a nice space. And then, what's called the Asian-Pacific Islanders is the one for Asian Americans.

JD: Mm-hm, mm-hm. So you mentioned, kind of in passing, when we were talking about sort of changes in the student population, that there were some interesting activities going on among the faculty in the early sixties, around, kind of, the women's movement, if I understood you correctly?

JT: Yeah. Well, one of the things that the literature at that time was talking about, and that I had also kind of experienced in just talking with colleagues here when I got to Oregon State, was that there is a disparity in terms of salary, and rank, and promotion and so forth, between women and men. So I talked to Bob. He said, "Fine. Go ahead and do this." So I wanted to do a study of this. So I went to the man who was—he was one of the human resources person, and I said, "Would I be able to have access to this information?" Well, he hemmed and hawed around for a while, but I finally got the information and did the study where I compared, not by name, but the women who had certain degrees, certain number of year of experience, here and other places, and salary levels, and promotions, and so forth. And obviously, there was a lot of disparity, in many cases.

Of course, the women were mainly in education. This is where there were men to compare—education, in business where the women mainly taught secretarial science, and a few, then, in the social sciences and humanities. And so, it was turned in, and I did give a couple of reports to some faculty groups, including a group of faculty men that met regularly for lunch every week. And people were polite, let me put it this way. But I think it raised some awareness that there was something that needed to be done, and this was right at the—this all happened in the late sixties. And this was just right at the time Betty Friedan's book came out, or just before Title IX. But then the Women's Center was created, and Jeanne Dost, who was an economist and who was Director of the Women's Center and of Women's Studies, both at the time, was interested in doing some of the same thing, and she was pretty outspoken about it.

And I think out of this eventually came—it wasn't until the eighties—the Women's [0:50:00] Network, and there were more women on campus then, too, so then the Women's Center served as a focus for that, and Beth Rietveld. For a long time, the women's center was staffed with graduate students from the CSSA program, and again, which we oversaw from Student Affairs. And I think they did some good—but you can't do that much with people when there's a turnover every year. But eventually they were able to get enough funding, and they did the student fees, that they were able to fund a regular full-time professional in Beth Rietveld, and did a very splendid job in upgrading the programs, and the building, and visibility, and the outreach—really did so much more for the Women's Center, really promoted it.

JD: Mm-hm. So, you mentioned the faculty women's network. Before there was a network, there was a small core of you?

JT: The women's study group.

JD: Talk about that a bit.

JT: Well, that was just a group of about, maybe, six people. We would just get together periodically to talk about these things that we'd been mentioning about: disparities, what we could do about it, how to raise visibility, raise awareness. And eventually there were some—you know, the court cases that came out from the State Board of Higher Education that started up with Western, that—but some of the people here, Helen Berg for instance, in the Statistics Department, did a lot of the statistical work on that, and we got some really detailed stuff for the state system. But it was the women's study group; it was an informal group, mainly, and it had no recognition. We generally would meet up in the Women's Center, and just try to get some things done, and in a way I think it was also a support group for some people. Some people in that group had been here for a number of years, for a long time before I even came on the campus, and they had seen what had happened.

I think some of the people in the traditional—you feel like Home Ec—I think it was a little bit different, because—and women's Physical Education was somewhat our problem, though, too, in terms of disparity. But in Home Ec there was a lot of the kind of thing that you didn't—you were comparing women with women, and it wasn't all scientists, Ph.D.s, this sort of thing, so it was—I don't think that was as—they were not participating in that as much, but.

JD: Mm-hm, mm-hm. So, what then finally led to the formation of the Women's Network, and what was its purpose?

JT: Well actually, I do not remember that exactly, how it came about, formally. But its purpose has evolved into being one of not only support, but of providing information. They'll have sessions on preparing your dossier for tenure consideration, things on how do you ask for a raise, and sorts of things that a lot of women's groups were doing. And again, I think that Beth Rietveld really helped to do this quite a bit in the work. I think the Women's Network has become a lot more active since I have retired. It was not as active prior in the nineties, early nineties, as it has become, and I think it's because there are more women—

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: —on the faculty, and they did a lot in terms of, you know, socializing, and so they get to know each other, and know who to turn to, and can share ideas.

JD: Mm-hm. And you were a network advisor? Do I have that term right? For a long time? On some of the newsletters, I would see—

JT: Oh, I think they had me down as an advisor because I was an administrator, for one thing, but it was not a formal—I mean, if people asked me about some things, I would talk with them about it, but it wasn't any kind of a formal—

JD: Okay. [0:55:00] Well, you're talking about, kind of, the range of presentations that the network would do for other faculty, and one which caught my eye—I think they were all done repeatedly over the years—was The campus climate revisited: Chilly for Women Faculty, Administrators and Graduate Students.

JT: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

JD: How would you say that chilly climate changed from the time you first came on campus, with fairly few women administrators, 'til your retirement?

JT: Well actually, when I came, because there were not very many women, I don't think people minded. I mean, it wasn't an issue about a chilly climate. There were women in education, physical education and Home Ec. But I think this chilly climate may have developed more as women began to seep into the other disciplines, and became—and especially when there were the same old continuing men in there, who were not very receptive to women. Some of the women, some of the colleges, I think, needed to have an administrator who was willing to hire women, who wasn't afraid to hire a spouse of a faculty member. Like, Fred Horne in Science was a good example of this, who did a lot of good work with that. But you know, some of our finest scientists and faculty are women, and it took a while for people really to accept this, but I think there is still—in some areas, there is just a reluctance to accept women as being okay. But I do think that it is diminishing, if it has not—but there's always going to be somebody who—and it may be because they're just, it's professional jealousy more than it is gender issues.

JD: Mm-hm. So, when you're doing surveys of wage disparities and promotion disparities, was that something that you looked at in Student Affairs? I mean, was that something that you personally experienced, or were aware of?

JT: Oh, yeah, I looked at it, and there wasn't too much—there wasn't an issue. I was never paid less than—you know, the old thing, well, you're married; you don't need to have as much? I was never paid less than my peers.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: Within Student Affairs. We tried to be sure this didn't happen, in terms of, you know, the other people, who had similar responsibilities and experience, and so forth.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: And I certainly hope it hasn't occurred again. [Laughs] I don't think it can now. I think with Affirmative Action Office, who oversees this kind of thing, I don't think it can.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: Because people would bring—I don't know whether they still do this or not, but people would bring things to Affirmative Action Offices to whoever would happen to be the person in charge at that point, who would complain about it, and they'd investigate it. The President's Commission on the Status of Women was another thing, though, that I was involved with, that we started when President MacVicar came in. It was sort of about the time that, again, involved a little with Title IX, and it has continued to function. At times it even held the hearings of people who would bring complaints, and MacVicar was quite willing to do this. He was interested enough to—

JD: Mm-hm. Well, you briefly were talking about the issue of marriage among faculty and staff, and certainly, you weren't just working your whole entire life at OSU. [Laughs] At some point, you met Cliff Trow, who was a history professor at OSU. [1:00:00] Talk a little about how the two of you met, and married.

JT: Oh. At the time that I came to OSU, and this was true on most campuses, Student Affairs people were often given complimentary tickets to campus events, like the concerts from the big entertainers who would come to campus. And so the Dean of Women had these tickets, and she said, "Now, I have these two tickets," and this friend of hers who was also in the History Department, was having dinner. And there are two new young professors, single men, from the History Department, and we'll all go then to the concert. So that was fine, you know. Well, Cliff happened to be one of the men, and this fellow from the History Department, Norborne Berkeley, always claimed that he was the one who set us up, but I think Helen thought she was.

But anyway, we did go to the concert, and we had a nice time, and I think he asked me out a couple of times, and did some things. But he had some other interests, and I did, too, at the time. And it wasn't until a couple years later that we, I don't know, saw each other on campus, and started going out together. And then in the fall of 1969 we got married. And we were married here in Corvallis, because our friends were all here. I thought about going back to Ohio, but hardly anybody I knew was still there, except my mother. [Laughs] My brother wasn't living there, and so it was—but, so we were married here, and it was—I think people were pleased.

And I had just bought a house. This was when I had finally decided that I really did like Oregon, and I wasn't particularly going to go back to any place else, and I'd bought a house. And so, that, I think made people think that I was interested in staying.

But one of the interesting things was, though, that we were asked to sign this statement that—it was a nepotism statement, that if either one of us ever got into the position where we would be responsible, professionally, for the other, that one of us would have to resign. Well, I said to the Dean of the Faculty, "Neither one of us is ever going to do this because, you know, it isn't logical that I would do anything in his area, or he in mine, so let's just forget this." But it was the kind of thing that was typical then. But I do know, too, that maybe nepotism rules do still exist, but I know of people who had siblings, or excuse me, sons and daughters that they wanted to employ, and there was this whole nepotism issue. And I think that probably is a—I know it's an issue politically, a lot of times, too.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: But Cliff had been interested, politically, in things, too, and so that first year that we were married, in the spring of '70, he decided that he would like to run for the legislature. He lost, so that settled that. We had some time, and we did some traveling and so forth, but then he ran again in '74, but that's a whole 'nother story.

JD: [Laughs] Well, he and I did talk about that a little bit. You were part of an interview that the Oregonian did in 1986 with a variety of political couples. Is this ringing any bells? The title of the article was Marriage in Politics, and so the journalist was asking—I think Norman and Gail Collis were in the article, then Marty and Neil Goldschmidt were in the article.

JT: The Roberts?

JD: Betty and—

JT: Frank.

JD: —and Frank. No, I think it was Betty and Keith Skelton.

JT: Betty and Keith Skelton, right.

JD: But you had a phrase that you said then, that you thought was key to how you two worked your lives, around you both being in different places, that you had a "tolerance for ambiguity."

JT: Mm-hm. [Laughs]

JD: I thought it was a wonderful phrase. [Laughs] Can you talk a little about how you did work? Because he was in the legislature for twenty-eight years. [1:05:00]

JT: That's right.

JD: So that was a long time, with sessions every other year.

JT: Mm-hm.

JD: He was in Salem quite a bit.

JT: Yeah. Well, yeah, and then he served on a lot of committees that meant he was going back to Salem, back and forth to Salem and around the state, even when the legislature wasn't in session. And he was also teaching, in the terms that he wasn't—the legislature wasn't in session. Well, I think that it's—that would be the kind of a quality that you'd have to have for any kind of a couple that has two different kinds of careers, where you are going off in opposite directions. You've got to be able to realize that there is something else outside of your own career, that there's interesting things going on, that there are all sorts of things that you have to do to participate, or to listen to, that have absolutely nothing to do with what you're doing. But yet, if you really think about it, you can relate it to what you're doing.

And it's the kind of a thing, I think, that makes—I think it made our life a lot more interesting, to tell you the truth. And then we'd do things socially with Student Affairs people, but there'd be all the things in the political arena, you know, campaign times, where all the things that are involved in doing campaigns, and door to door, and phone calls, and campaign party. You enlist all your friends and colleagues to help with those things, and it's—but everybody does that. I think it really kind of—I know it enriched my life, in terms of what I learned, also, about what went on in the state, and how it worked, and the importance of doing things. I was often asked to come to a Home Ec. class to give a talk on lobbying and the legislature. What is lobbying, and how does it work? And how do you go to the legislature and present things? And it's not necessarily a bad thing to be a lobbyist. So, you do learn some things, and you have an opportunity to see the world through a somewhat different lens than if you just were always looking at higher education.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: But I think that Cliff's being in the legislature gave people there some sort of appreciation, too, for what a higher education professional is all about, what a professor is, too.

JD: I'm guessing that there probably weren't a lot of history professors in the legislators.

JT: No. There were some other people from—well, Frank Roberts was a professor at PSU.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: Ron Seets [?] was a professor. Fred Hurd was a teacher at OIT. Used to be—it wasn't until just in the late sixties that they changed the law that allowed higher education people to run for the legislature, because prior to that they couldn't do that. So, that opened—

JD: What was the reason for that?

JT: I don't know. The public school people still can't, unless you resign. I don't think—at least you couldn't then. They just changed it for higher ed. people.

JD: Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

JT: And then as soon as they changed it, then they've got two higher ed. people from Corvallis, so. [Laughs]

JD: So, you mentioned a couple of times that at some point you moved from being an associate dean, to vice president for student affairs, and you were the first woman in that position?

JT: That's first woman Vice President, period.

JD: Vice President.

JT: Period.

JD: Period. Well, talk about that career change, that career move.

JT: Okay. Well, in the academic year 1983-84, Bob Chick decided to retire, and so I had to decide whether I wanted to apply for his position. And generally, there's an in-house candidate for most things, and so I decided I would. And at that time, the position—MacVicar, President MacVicar had created the positions of vice president. There had been a Dean of Administration, Dean of the Faculty, and a Dean of Students, and he created the positions of vice president for each of those. It just changed the title. And they were all a part of the president's cabinet, or council, along with some other people, like the legal advisor, and the business manager, and some others.

So, [1:10:00] and it also moved Bob's office. Oh, no, no; he didn't move the offices until afterwards. No, excuse me. That was John Byrne moved the office. So there were a number of people. There were two other people that were finalists for the position, and I was fortunate, because after all the interviews had been going through, one afternoon, it was in May, about 4:15, 4:45, President MacVicar appeared at my door of my office, on the second floor of the administration building. I thought, oh boy, it's one thing or the other! And so that was when he offered me the job.

So I was very pleased, and so that's what I did from '84 to '95. And so since then, there have been a number of other women who have been vice presidents, since the vice president for the—a number of associate vice presidents, but two women have been Vice President for University Advancement and Public Relations, whatever it's called, Orcelia Forbes, and the woman who went to South Carolina; I can't think of her name. So it was a move that I guess I knew that I would always do if the opportunity came, that I would always try for, but it does has it disadvantage. I mentioned that you do not have the same kind of contact with the students. You have to deal with all the issues. It's the things you don't miss when you retire, the budgets and the personnel, and all the things that are what you have to deal with every day.

But what you do miss are the contacts. You continue to have contacts with your staff, and you have to work really hard to build the team, and to do the sorts of things that make an organization work. And with students, I think it's important for any kind of an administrator to continue to have contact with students, and I think most wise presidents of institutions do that, whether it's through holding just sort of general questions and answer periods, or social hours, or whatever, just so the students get to know that the president's a human being, and not just off raising money someplace.

So I felt it was something I really appreciated, the president appointing me. But he was then retiring at the end of '85, and that's when John Byrne came on. And John Byrne moved from the—he wanted all of his vice, his chief people on the same floor. So he moved me from the second floor, where all the Student Affairs people had been, up to the sixth floor. That's where it is now, so.

JD: Mm-hm, mm-hm. So, I mean, you talk about things that you didn't miss, like budgets and personnel, but how did the job evolve? What were some of the challenges, and what were some of the rewards of that position?

JT: Of the Chief Student Affairs Officer? Well, seeing some of the growth that occurs in an organization I think that the job evolved, somewhat, as the university became more complex, and you had more things added to Student Affairs. I continued to teach in the CSSA program even then, but that's when I gave up the directorship, because it just didn't work that way.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: So that was one thing that I didn't have to do then, and the administrative assistant in our office didn't have to do that either with all that work. But it's really hard for me to assess how the position might have evolved, because there was—the university was just changing, and so you adapted to what's going on, in terms of increased enrollment, budget problems or budget reductions, and how do you compensate? We have fewer staff to do what you're expected to be doing we had been with more staff. How can you do all the kinds of outreach, and recruitment, and so forth, that you wanted? The reorganization put Admissions and Registrar under, at one point, under the Student Affairs area, [1:15:00] and that was a big change. But again, it was just sort of getting—adapting to that, and recognizing that it's a whole different type of an organization. But yet, you had to recognize that those people had their way of doing things, and maybe it wasn't going to be easy for them to have to suddenly report—although most people at Oregon, I'd say, are pretty autonomous when they do things, though.

JD: So, throughout your career you've certainly been involved, either a member of, or pretty actively involved with, a variety of professional organizations, whether it's Association of Women Deans, or American Association for Higher Ed, Alpha Lambda Delta. Talk a little generally for us, perhaps, about what you see as the value of professional organizations, why you were involved, and perhaps why you were then actively involved in some of that?

JT: Well, I think professional organizations help any newcomer to a profession to begin to understand what that profession is all about. You get a sense of the history from looking at the people who've been around for a long time, but you also can see where maybe some of the flaws are, and can look to the future, in terms of where the organization might need to go, and what are some of the things that are important. The old networking idea—that's where you network with other people in your profession. If you're interested in moving up or moving on from where you are, that's a good way to make connections, to know that there are people that you can contact in other ways.

So the professional organizations also can give you and your institution some visibility, because if you are giving a program, for instance, and talking about Oregon State's program in XYZ to a group of professionals, who are from all over the country, that's good for the institution, just as it is good for you as a professional. So, I think it's worth the investment. Some professional groups have an institutional membership, so that your institution has to pay hundreds of dollars, and then so many people can belong. Others, it's individual membership. Most of them it's not exorbitant. What does cost money is going to the meetings, and sometimes they're so far away for people on the west coast it's not worthwhile, but I think it's a good investment, both for the institution and for the individual.

JD: Mm-hm. And I mentioned Alpha Lambda Delta.

JT: Lambda Delta.

JD: And that was an organization that—talk about why—and you were an officer?

JT: Oh, well that was a—that's not a professional organization.

JD: Okay.

JT: Let me mention some of the professional organizations, first. The National Association of Women Deans and Counselors, for years, was a very viable and vibrant organization of what is says. And it gradually, over the years, lost membership, because there weren't many women who were interested in just a women's organization, because there are two other organizations for generalists, called the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the Association of College, ACP, Student Personnel Administrators, ACPA and NASPA. And, so, they tended to go to those, rather than to just the women's organization, so it eventually died out, which I think was logical. I just got involved in that, I think, because I was asked to be on the council. I think I was asked to be secretary, or some such.

And I tend to be a person who gets things done. If I'm given an assignment, I'll work with others to do it, or see that it gets done, so maybe that's why they eventually asked me to be president of NAWDC, which I did. NASPA, I never was on an organization there, although I was with ACPA. I was secretary of ACPA at one time, but I never got terribly active in that. But I was on the editorial board of both of those organizations, where I reviewed articles for their journals. And I think that's kind of how I got involved with the Stephens Institute for the NASPA group, is that I'd been pretty active [1:20:00] with the editorial board, and knew a lot of the people who were the professor types—

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: —from the other institutions, like Indiana and Maryland, Michigan State, et cetera, so. But Alpha Lambda Delta is a freshman honor society for freshman students, and it's been around since the 1920s. And it was for women, to start with, just as a group called Phi Eta Sigma was for men; back in those days they had both. But they ran the organization by using the deans on the campuses as the advisors to the group, and also to do—they basically turned in all the list of members, and then they'd get the pins back, and run the initiation, and send in all the information. So, they always were looking for people to be on their national council, as what they called a district advisor.

So, I was asked, and I think it was because I knew some people through the women dean's group, if I would be the district advisor for the west coast. So I said, okay. And eventually, then, I was the secretary of the organization. They would hold meetings once a year, where everybody pulled together. There was an executive director, and they would gather all the data that all these district advisors had compiled, to be sure that the executive director had everything they needed to have, and so the organization would run. They made decisions about giving their graduate fellowships.

Well, they'd had a group early on, in the forties and fifties. The group of women who'd been these district advisors and national officers had decided they wanted to invest their money, so they used the financial advisor of one of the members, and they started investing their money. And it grew, and it grew, and they really did a very good job. They're worth several million dollars right now, but it became apparent—eventually they asked if I would go through the things, and be president. I said sure. Always, I would consult, though, with my supervisor to be sure that this was okay, whether it was the Dean of Students when I was associate dean, or whether it was the president when I was the VP, because it just—you just don't go off and start obligating yourself and your institution to—the poor secretary often had to do a lot of the work.

Although with Alpha Lambda Delta, what seemed to—since we talked in a couple of council meetings, is that the group, the organization was growing, and it really—it wasn't very efficient the way it was growing. So we devised a way to take what all these district advisors had been doing in record-keeping, and move it into the national office, and make it a true national office, with an executive director, and administrative assistant, and any other help that the person might need. And it worked. It really simplified what was being done. It expedited membership. Membership grew. It was just really a good move, and I feel that was an accomplishment that I could be pretty proud of, helping to go along.

When I retired—often what they did when a president left the organization, they would name one of the graduate fellowships after them: the Miriam Sheldon, the Katherine Caters, and so on. But what they said they were going to do for me was to establish a new scholarship called the Jo Anne Trow Sophomore Scholarship, so they would give it to an undergraduate who had maintained the Alpha Lambda Delta average, and who had applied, and it would be a thousand dollars that there would—so the first year gave maybe ten, but now they give thirty-some a year, and some of them are five thousand dollars and some are—I mean it's really a—they have used their money well, because they still give all these $10,000 graduate scholarships, and they've recently established, in honor of a recently retired president, who was the dean at the University of Portland when he retired, an international scholarship for him. So, it's an organization that's done really well, and it still—and it recognizes the students for academic achievement, and some of the chapters—this chapter in Oregon State isn't really active; it doesn't do a lot of programs and activities, but some do a lot [1:25:00] of things. But this one does some things, and people join, and seem to have a good time, and so.

But that wasn't a professional organization as such. But the professional organizations, I think—and another one is the Northwest College Personnel Association, which was one of the first ones out in the northwest that I got involved with, got to know people up in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and that was a really good opportunity, too, to get to know people, and also to contribute to the profession, because of what you could bring from your experiences in other institutions.

JD: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. And the scholarships, they are granted to students across the country?

JT: Across the country, right. That's what [laughs]—people have told me when they Google my name, because all these little town newspapers say, "John Jones got this scholarship," and there's my name! So it doesn't mean a thing; the numbers don't mean a thing. [Laughs]

JD: So you're everywhere? [Laughs]

JT: But interestingly, I saw a friend here in town, went back to her—something with one of her granddaughters who was at some college in Ohio, and she said her "Granddaughter got a scholarship named for you!" [Laughs]

JD: That's great.

JT: So, I had to explain to Angela what it was all about.

JD: So, you've also been involved in programs, and projects, and events around the city of Corvallis, as well. You're a citizen of the city, as well as a faculty of the university. Talk a little about some of the things that you've done in Corvallis.

JT: Well, I've always been social service oriented, and I got in at the urging of a colleague on the campus, Dean Betty Hawthorne, and I volunteered to do some work with the United Way, and ended up spending an number of years working with United Way, both locally and at the regional level. And some of the other, a couple of other groups like the Old Mill Center—it's a pre-school, but it's a whole lot of different things now, but it started out as a pre-school for normally developing and developmentally disabled children. And so, it's just sort of, you know, extra-curricular, something that I felt was important to help out with, if I could, in ways that would be useful, and that I could provide some leadership when asked.

The woman who was the mayor of the city of Corvallis, and one of the mayor's—in fact, her only major responsibility of the mayor is to appoint people to boards and commissions. And she said that whenever she looks over the list of who was retiring from the university in the spring, she'd always call them right away, before they got snagged by somebody else, and so, would I like to be on the Park and Recreation Board, Helen Burgass? So I did that for eight years, and that was very interesting. I really enjoyed that; did some good things. And let's see; what else have I—? I've done some stuff with my church, Congregational Church. And I since I retired, I've been doing a lot more—I've been doing some things with the OSU Thrift Shop, which I really hadn't had time to do before, and with the Benton County Historical Society as my main volunteer effort right now.

JD: And what does that involve?

JT: Well, raising a lot of money. The historical society, in 19—it had been around since the fifties, and has a campus in Philomath, where it's a beautiful building. It's the old Philomath College building. You might have seen it when you drive to the coast.

JD: Mm-hm.

JT: And I was not on the board or involved at the time, but in the late 1990s, when it became apparent, because the budget cuts at the university had done away with funding for the Horner Museum, which was a big museum here in town, that they had—I mean on the campus; it was located in the basement of Gill Coliseum, and it started in the 1930s—that it might be dissembled, and just sent out all over the state [1:30:00] or the world, basically. So some of those board members decided they would see if the university would be interested in giving it to the historical society. They said, "Okay, if you've got a place to put it." So they signed a memorandum of agreement, and they went out and immediately, in about a month and a half time, raised almost million dollars, nine hundred and some thousand dollars, using about three hundred and some thousand that had been in the building fund for the historical society, and bought a piece of property downtown, with the idea that they would remodel this old lumberyard property into a museum, and a storage space for the museum, for all the stuff out of the Horner.

Well, it turned out that when drawing the plans, that there wouldn't—number one, there wasn't going to be room for all the stuff by any means, because they also then started packing up the things down in the basement, so they could move it to this new museum; and secondly, that the building would not really suit itself to be a museum for exhibition purposes, even if they could do that, because it wasn't in very good shape. So the decision was made reluctantly, and with a lot of people who didn't like it, to tear the building down, and to use some of the money that had been raised to basically fix up that building as a museum, to build a collection center in Philomath, which we did. And that is a 13,000 square foot, state of the art, 10,000 square feet of it for storage, the other for curation and exhibition preparation, and it's a wonderful space. Even the Oregon Historical Society envies us. And then finally, when we could guarantee that we had someplace safe to keep the Horner, they signed off completely.

So in 2007, all the 40,000 items from the Horner were moved by professional museum movers, including this huge moose, stuffed moose, out to Philomath. And we, in the meantime, had established committees to start working on plans to build a museum on part of the property downtown. The decision was made to put the major part of the property for sale, which we did, between Adams and Washington Street, along First Street. Prime property. We finally sold it for over a million dollars. Somebody was going to build a hotel there, which is needed downtown very much, and that money will go to a restricted fund for operating costs for the new museum. But we are in the process of—what am I saying, what I'm doing with them? I'm helping raise money to build the new museum downtown. We have Allied Works out of Portland as our architect. It's a great design.

JD: I actually looked at the design online. It looked wonderful.

JT: Oh, good. Oh, it's really great. We're excited about it, but we've just got to get more money. But anyway, that's mainly what I've been doing. But I've always felt it's been important to be involved in what goes on in Corvallis, in any community. I guess, you know, my family was involved in things as a child and as I say, I started out doing social work, and I guess I've done social work with college students, and maybe, social work with the community. But you feel like Corvallis and OSU both are communities of substance, where you want to try to give something that will make a difference, if you're a part of it, and that's what I've tried to do.

JD: So, there have been a few news articles, or a presentation you were giving not too long ago, where the term "pioneer" was used in association with—that you were a pioneer administrator.

JT: Mm.

JD: What do you think about that being used in relation to your working career?

JT: [Laughs] Well, it makes me think of people in sunbonnets and covered wagons.

JD: [Laughs]

JT: It may be because I was one of the first women to hold a major administrative position outside the traditional women's area of responsibility. That would be the only reason I could think of. I think there are a lot of women in town that—and I think it's come about because they've had a chance lately, in the last twenty years, to begin to show those abilities, who are great administrators, fund-raisers, speakers, organizers, and that they have had—so, it's not because I'm special in that way. It's probably because I was among the first, so I guess that's how you can be called a pioneer.

JD: Mm-hm. Would you have any advice for current students or faculty at OSU, from the things that you've learned, that you would want to share with them?

JT: Well, I think that there's—one should always be aware of what there is to gain from what's going on around you, and from the people that you have opportunity to interact with. Oregon State is an excellent institution, and it's a really—it's a special institution, and I think it's because they really try to be sure the students, and the faculty, and the staff, for the most part, anyway, have an experience that helps them to grow, and to become more of the kind of a person, or professional, or whatever, that they want to be.

And I think that people need to take advantage of that, and to realize that since this is something special, that you need to take advantage of it, and be willing to share it, too, with other people. You need to be also willing to work with others, and you just don't do all of this stuff by yourself. A lot of what everybody accomplishes is on the shoulders of other people, and in linking arms with other people, and I think that's one of the things that has made this institution a really fine one, is that people have been willing to kind of work together, whether they're alumni, parents, students, faculty. It really can make a difference that way.

JD: Do you have any other sort of final thoughts about your tenure at OSU, or issues as they stand today, that you would like to make sure get captured in the project?

JT: [Laughs] Hm. I'm glad I came to Oregon, and to Oregon State. It continues to be a very special place. Today I had the opportunity to go to a reception for a former colleague who was stepping down from his position but continued to teach, and looking around at the people there, many of whom now are new, have come since I have left, but a number of people that I had worked with when I was there, you realize that this really is a special kind of a place, a place that is something that you need to cherish, and I would hope that people would remember that.

JD: Great. Well, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and taking the time to do this interview.

JT: Thank you very much. They were good questions. Appreciate it.

JD: And you're free to say whatever you want now. [Laughs] [1:38:20]


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