Outstanding Alumni Service Award
Nominations & Selection Process
- To nominate an individual, submit a nomination form or contact the alumni office.
- Nominations are accepted from alumni, current/former faculty, and administration and are due December 31, 2013.
- Nominations are reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board.
- Nominations are presented to and confirmed by a majority vote of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
David and Sandy Lowe Outstanding Alumni Service Award
This award recognizes alumni for significant contributions of time, service, and talents to Pacific University throughout the years. All alumni are eligible for this award, except those who have received an honorary degree from the University. Alumni will not be eligible until 10 years after their class reunion year. Alumni celebrating 25 and 50 years will be given special consideration. Nominate Now.
Previous Award Winner Profiles
1983 Award Winner
Charles E. Trombley ’52
Trombley was Dean of Students for Pacific University for more than 30 years. While graduating with the award for Outstanding Music Major, Trombley continued to teach voice lessons, direct plays and operas throughout Washington County. He was one of the founders of the Theater in the Grove and as an actor himself, he performed in more than 30 roles in musicals, plays and operas. Before he became the Director of Admissions for Pacific, Trombley was a journeyman machinist at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for seven years during World War II. Through admissions, Trombley was appointed Dean of Students. The Forest Grove campus has dedicated Trombley Square to “Charlie.”
1986 Award Winners
Mary LaRoyce Flisram Findlay ’47
Mary LaRoyce Flisram Findlay kept her flare in music and drama during her 29 years as the head of the Choir Department at Parkrose High School. She also taught at Estacada, Lincoln, and Jefferson High Schools. She coached vocal students in Broadway musicals and traveled with the choir group to Europe, Mexico, Hawai’i, and Canada. She was named Parkrose Teacher of the Year.
Van Dyke’s educational career brought him to a term as interim president of Portland Community College and eventually the executive dean of PCC. Graduating with a degree in chemistry, he started teaching mathematics in Hillsboro, Ore. In 1965, he taught at PCC and was soon moving into administration. He believed that a school like PCC can offer new skills training for workers who often make voluntary job changes every three to five years.
While still an undergraduate, Phillips was a legislative intern for State Senator Vic Atiyeh of Washington County. This position helped him become the youngest person to be appointed to the Citizens’ Representative Office at the age of 27. In 1988, Phillips was elected Oregon State Representative. Phillips and his wife, Nancy ’77, established the Story-Dondero Chair for Study of Politics and the Economy, providing funds for salaries and benefits for professors, conference funds and materials.
After graduating magna cum laude, Nielsen spent more than 30 years researching plastics and composite material for the Monsanto Chemical Company. During this time, Nielsen developed six patents, earned two national awards, and published more than 150 articles and technical books. He was also listed in Who’s Who in America. Nielsen led 19 mountain climbing expeditions to Alaska and the Yukon Territory researching glacial formations for the Arctic Institute. Nielsen earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from Cornell University after receiving his master’s from Washington State University. He also spent one year at Harvard University doing post-doctorate work. In retirement, Nielsen dedicated himself to preserving Oregon’s pioneer history by writing four books on the subject. After Nielsen passed away in 1992, his wife, Deanne, established a Charitable Remainder Unitrust called the Lawrence E. Nielsen Endowment Fund for Faculty Excellence.
Melinda “Mindy” (Cottrell) Cameron ’65
Cameron retired in 2001 after 20 years at the Seattle Times. She was Editorial Page Editor for 12 years. She had previous newspaper and television experience in Idaho and Rochester, NY. While working her way to a journalism degree, Cameron wrote for The Pacific Index. She was honored with the Seattle Times Executive of the year in 1999. The award enabled her to establish the Melinda Cameron Endowed Scholarship fund at Pacific University. In 2001, Cameron was recognized by The Association of Women in Communications as the Communicator of the Year by the Seattle Chapter. She lives with her husband in rural Idaho and serves on numerous boards, including Pacific University's Board of Trustees.
Dr. Stanley J. Yamane ’66, OD ’66
Yamane spent more than 24 years in clinical optometry at Eye Care Associates. He founded the five doctor operation in Hawaii. He retired from the practice only to become the Vice President of Professional Affairs of Vistakon, Johnson and Johnson Vision Care. Pacific recognized Yamane with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letter at the Professional Programs Commencement for his dedication, commitment, leadership and giving to Pacific University's College of Optometry. In 2004, Yamane retired for the second time, but after 15 months, he started as a part-time consultant for an Internet company called VisionWeb. He is married to fellow alumna, Joyce (Tamura) Yamane ’65.
Dr. Roy E. Lieuallen ’40
Lieuallen started his education in a one
room school house in Eastern Oregon and finished his career in education as Chancellor of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, a position he held for more than 20 years. Before becoming Chancellor, he was president of Oregon College of Education at Monmouth, now established as Western Oregon in his honor. In retirement, he has been active in the Western Commission of Higher Education. He married alumna Barbara Wales ’39.
Dr. Cheron (Messmer) Mayhall ’64
Mayhall founded a statewide project to educate and support families of children with disabilities called the Coalition in Oregon for Parent Education (COPE). She was the President of the American Society for Deaf Children for three years and served five years on Oregon’s State Advisory Council for Special Education. During the 2006 Reunion Weekend, her book, The Bridge is Love: A Journey Through Grief to Joy after the Death of a Child, was showcased with a book reading and signing.
Douglas K. Okabayashi ’70
As a manager of Pacific’s bookstore as an undergraduate, Okabayashi continued his degree in business administration by becoming a salesman in Hawai’i. He was also very welcoming of the Pacific’s basketball team to stay at his house when they were visiting for tournaments where his generosity earned him an induction in the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Dr. Calvin N. Mosley ’66
Mosley was associate dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. in 1971. He studied journalism and history at Pacific and after college was a reporter for United Press International. He then returned to Pacific as an admissions counselor and then assistant dean of admissions. His career at Harvard also started in admissions. While working at Harvard, he earned his Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy. Mosley has retired as Special Assistant to the President at the College of St. Catherine in Minn.
Varina Heinrich French ’56, MS ’65
French had a prominent role in women’s gymnastics. She joined Pacific’s physical education staff for 17 years coaching women’s volleyball, softball, track and field and gymnastics once the program started in the 70’s. She became the first female physical education department chair in the West. By the time she left Pacific, she was the national certification coordinator for women’s gymnastics judges and was appointed the vice president of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation Women’s Committee in 1974. In the 1984 XXIII Olympics in Los Angeles, French was a spotter for ABC’s television coverage. In 1996, she was inducted into Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame. She is married to Harold French ’56.
Dr. Robert L. Casteel ’54
Casteel was a Speech Clinician and a Special Speech Clinician to the Physically Handicapped in the Vancouver public schools, followed by eight years at the Crippled Children’s Division of the University of Oregon Medical School. Recognized for his work with stuttering, Casteel was a professor in speech pathology at Portland State University. His articles were published in American and Swiss professional journals on phoniatrics, stress control, stuttering and speech articulation. He served as president of the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association from 1977-78 and 1978-79 and received Honors of the association. He was later named Fellow by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Barbara (Pelton) Casteel ’56
Casteel became a strong female presence in Portland’s insurance industry after attending Pacific. She became the commercial property/casualty production manager and senior underwriter for the Portland branch of Rathbone, King & Seeley, Inc., and its successors. She served as president of the Oregon Chapter of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters and also of the Insurance Women of Portland, as part of National Association of Insurance Women, International. While accompanying her husband, Robert ’54 on his sabbatical in Australia, she published a two-part article called “Insurance the Australian Way.” The Casteels have generously donated to Pacific.
George E. Ing ’57
Ing was recognizably the face of the horticultural community in the Northwest. During his sophomore year at Pacific, Ing purchased a 110 acre farm in Gaston, Ore., with money saved from picking fruit and crops during his adolescence. He married his wife, Muriel, and they both were teachers while Ing nurtured his farm into an orchard. From 1962 until 1991, he was the Superintendent running Mount Adams Orchard in White Salmon, Wash. Ing moved to Hood River in 1991 where he and his son farmed orchards together until Ing died in 2005. Ing was named the Cherry King by the Northwest Cherry Institute and in 2001 was the Distinguished Service award winner from the Washington State Horticultural Association. Ing compiled articles he had written for the Goodfruit Grower into a biography called Wending the Way from Wapato Gap.
1987 Award Winners
Daniel Galvez ’75
Galvez has become a nationally recognized muralist. He has been awarded commissions for more than 50 local, state and federal projects. His murals focus on multicultural people in hopes to strengthen community and stimulate new ways of seeing humanity. In 1992, he completed one of his most popular murals in Cambridge, Mass., but his most significant mural is the 66 foot long mural titled Homage to Malcolm X location at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Although Galvez did not graduate from Pacific, he established groundwork for his artistic career with direction from Professor Jan Shield.
Dr. Robert T. Oliver ’32
Oliver became the founding dean of Clark Community College and a liaison between the United States and the President of South Korea after WWII. Only a year after graduating from Pacific, Oliver established Clark Junior College. He was the personal advisor for international affairs between South Korea and the United States in the late 1940’s. Then he went back to being an educator and became chairman of the speech department at Pennsylvania State University for more than 15 years. Oliver was an author of many published books and supporter to Pacific.
Hugh B. Alexander ’79
Alexander has made a career out of freelance illustration. As local president representative for the Colorado Chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild of New York, Alexander has had contracts with Apple, IBM, Motorola Electronics, CBS, Road and Track magazine, the Olympic Committee, and the National Football League. In 2007, he was awarded Faculty of the Year at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design teaching illustration and advertising.
Lois Larson Allen ’52
Allen was recognized with Roseburg, Ore.’s First Woman Citizen honor after her dedication to the city. She served four years as the first female mayor of the city and was also on the planning commission and city council. Allen owned a local bookstore for 10 years.
William A. Hilliard ’52
Hilliard became the first black editor for the Oregonian even after being denied a paper route from the newspaper when he was 11 years old. Hilliard was persistent in his desire to overcome racial stereotypes in the workforce; a professor at the University of Oregon said blacks couldn’t be journalists for mainstream newspapers. He started his 42-year-long career at the Oregonian as a copy boy, was promoted to sportswriter and then was appointed editor. Being in limelight, Hilliard spoke to college students and professional groups about the importance of diversity.
1988 Award Winners
Dr. John L. Middlebrook ’68
Middlebrook spent 30 years working for the federal government using his degree in chemistry. At different positions, Middlebrook worked as a research chemist testing nuclear, chemical and biological warfare items. Middlebrook interacted with high levels of the Army, the Department of Defense and other private or governmental organizations in need of biological testing services. Middlebrook earned his doctorate at Duke and post doctorate honors at Stanford, and worked on the development of a drug to block the multiplication of HIV and its subsequent generation of AIDS.
John Steinbacher ’51
Steinbacher nurtured one of the nation’s foremost non-profit organizations dedicated to cancer immunology. As CEO of the Cancer Federation, Steinbacher is recognized as an internationally respected newsman, radio and TV personality and author. He is a friend of many stars of Hollywood's golden age and regularly writes for the magazine “Films of the Golden Age,” a number of whom are life members of the Federation. Steinbacher’s organization funds research and scholarship programs at many universities, including Pacific, with a research program as well as a science scholarship.
1989 Award Winner
Kathryn L. (Koch) Giffert-McVey ’77
Giffert-McVey organized a student choir at the Martin Luther King junior elementary school in Portland. Starting in 1982, she compiled students between the ages of four and 12 from the inner city to channel a positive artistic outlet. They have been invited to perform for Martin Luther King birthday celebrations and the Portland trailblazers. They have been featured on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s This Morning and in Washington D.C. to represent Oregon at the Presidential Inauguration.
1990 Award Winner
Dr. Fred Scheller ’43, MA ’54
In 1953, Scheller returned back to Pacific to teach for 30 years. He taught a full load of speech classes and became involved with forensics and the debate team. He also directed plays and taught theater classes. He earned his master’s in Speech from Pacific and received his doctorate in Speech Education from the University of Oregon. In the three decades Scheller taught at Pacific, he opened a campus media studio including radio and television stations. He established and developed the audio-visual program, the media lab, and the language lab. Scheller also helped to launch the Hawaiian Club and as advisor, he recruited students from Hawaii for 20 years. Scheller passed away in 2010.
1991 Award Winner
Barbara Strain ’70
Strain assisted with the construction of the first building at the International College of the Cayman Islands in the British West Indies. Graduating from Pacific with a degree in music education, she was a teacher and the school’s librarian. Her family has been very generous to Pacific’s programs and the Strain science building has been dedicated to her family.
1992 Award Winner
Donald P. Spiering ’48
Spiering’s education at Pacific was halted by WWII where he earned a Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Spiering became principal for Tillamook High School for five years and was the activities director at Washington High School until he retired. He was a member of the Military Order of World Wars. As a 1993 inductee to the Athletic Hall of Fame, Spiering received the Meritorious Service Award for his athletic contributions, donating new wrestling mats and the sign at McCready field. He passed away as a devoted giver to the University.
1998 Award Winner
Jeffrey R. Grundon ’80
Grundon was one of the highest recruiters of Pacific students and athletes while working for the Admissions department. As a leader, mentor and role model, Grundon has recruited students and merit scholars from Hawaii, Oregon and Idaho while visiting on average 180 high schools each fall. Grundon is also the athletic liaison for admissions since he has a strong background in football; coaching at Pacific for more than 10 years. This position also led him to becoming a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame.
1999 Award Winner
Jean B. (Brodersen) Tate ’52
Tate is married to alumnus Wayne Tate ’50 and was a homemaker temporarily after graduation to raise their two children. In 1969, she entered the real estate field opening her own office, Jean Tate Real Estate, in 1974. Her firm grew quickly to become the top office in Eugene for 14 years. After retirement in 1989, she headed an organization as a volunteer which built affordable housing for low-income families, over 200 unites during her tenure. She was Eugene Realtor of the Year, the Pioneer Award from the University of Oregon and First Citizen of Eugene.
2001 Award Winner
Alice E. (Davis) Hoskins ’56
Working for Pacific University for more than 25 years, Hoskins became known as “Mom” to the Pacific community. She was director of the service center, supervisor of Administrative Services as well as assistant to the President. For many years, Hoskins was advisor to the Phi Lambda Omicron sorority and has assisted with the Hawaii Club. She chaired a program of survival kits for students during finals week. Hoskins brought students to the airport, invited them in for Thanksgiving dinners, and helped to keep students stable during their years at Pacific.
2003 Award Winner
Richard “Rich” L. Burk ’88
Burk has been the voice of Boxer and Portland’s athletics. He was the play-by-play broadcaster for Pacific’s basketball games for eleven years. He developed a radio talk show called “Boxer Backtalk,” the only radio show of its kind for Division III college athletics. He works for the Portland Beavers as their television announcer and radio play-by-play announcer, and has filled in briefly on major league broadcasts for the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays. He has also emceed events for the Pacific athletic department, including the annual Legends Golf Classic. He is married to alumna Heather Hansen ’88.
2004 Award Winner
Inez F. (Bondurant) Griffels ’66
Griffels’ biggest service to her alma mater was made as President of the Pacific Alumni Council for two and a half years. As a council member for 12 years, she founded the Alumni Legacy Scholarship. As president of the council, Griffels took a leadership role in trying to keep the football program in tact at the university as well as began the tradition of the ringing the bell at Old College Hall during freshmen orientation.
2005 Award Winner
Edna K. (Doar) Gehring '70, MSEd '72
Edna has worked at Pacific since 1983 starting in the admissions office recruiting students from Hawai'i. She was the Director of the Underserved In Sight Health Careers Opportunity Program for the College of Optometry and recruited students from Micronesia, Guam, American Samoa, and Native American students. "Aunty Edna" has been the Advisor for Na Haumana O Hawai'i, Pacific's Hawaii Club, for more than 24 years. Edna has helped keep the spirit of the islands and promoted the 'ohana dynamics among all students interested in the history and culture of the Hawaiian islands. She is the Director of Multicultural Services and Learning Support Services for Students with Disabilities at Pacific. Edna is married to Hans C. Gehring '70 and mother to alumna, Christie '02.
2007 Award Winners
Janie F. Stein Kershaw '61
Kershaw works with her husband, Alan, at Kershaw & Associates, Inc., a Portland tax preparation, consulting and accounting company in business since 1976. For 20 years, she specialized in prior year returns and payment plans for small business start-ups and non-profit organizations. She has also been active in local politics and tax accountatnt associations and was a long-time member of the Alumni Board of Directors. She and Alan have been generous contributors to many University initiatives.
Willard "Wid" Bleything '51, O.D. '52
Bleything officially retired in 2003 as Optometry Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, in Residence, after a long career stretching back to the 1950s as a faculty member and later dean of the School. He served in the US Air Force, eventually becoming optometric consultant to the Surgeon General, until his retirement from the military in 1986. Bleything also had a private practice for 16 years specializing in pediatric optometry. In 2002, the World Council of Optometry named him International Optometrist of the Year.
2008 Award Winners
Col. Daniel "Jake" Jacobowitz, USAF (Ret.) '65
Jacobowitz has been exceptionally active in training, education and national defense issues by publishing articles in U.S. and foreign military and civilian journals. He has worked in the U.S. State Department, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff, as well as other U.S. government agencies. Jacobowitz was a principal author of the Tactics Volume of the USAF Gulf War Air Power Survey as well as the official USAF report on military actions following 9/11.
Roberta "Bobbi" Nickels '70
Nickels nurtured the Upward Bound program at Pacific University for 37 years. This federally funded program provided fundamental support, academic skills, and motivation for high school students from low-income families to prepare for college entrance. During her time as director, she raised over 7 million dollars in grants for Upward Bound. Nickels left in 2007 when Pacific's chapter of Upward Bound closed.
2009 Award Winner
Scott Pike '68, OD '70
2011 Award Winner
Gerald "Jerry" Frye '61
During his time as an undergraduate, Frye participated in the choir, was a member of the Gamma Sigma Fraternity and maintained multiple jobs to pay for tuition, room and board. Though Frye was a member of the class of 1961, he was unable to graduate on time because he was short six credit hours. It was while he was finishing those credits that Frye met his wife, Laura James.
In 1975, Frye opened his sporting goods store in Forest Grove, where it still operates, though Frye has since retired. He has been an active member of the Forest Grove community as well as the University community. The Fryes have continually participated in University activities since they graduated, including singing in the Choral Union and traveling to China in 1998, as well as serving on the Oak Tree Foundation Board and Alumni Board.
2012 Award Winner
Clark Peters '65, MSEd '70
Peters taught in public schools and served as a negotiator for the Oregon Education Association. He has supported teacher education through work with George Fox University and Hawaii Pacific University and several education organizations. He also served as a speech teacher and coach at Oregon high schools and helped support the new speech-language pathology master’s degree program at Pacific. He and his wife, Rae, are leading the class of 1965’s 50th reunion committee.
2013 Award Winner
Derek '92 & Tina (Cooper) Lasko '95
Derek and Tina have been awarded the 2013 Pacific University David & Sandy Lowe Outstanding Alumni Service Award for their professional and personal commitment to Pacific University. They make significant contributions to Pacific through their business, Lasko Printing, as well as with their time. Derek is a member and former president of Boxer Club, and the couple has been active with Legends. In the meantime, Tina contributes her service to their sons’ school and extracurricular activities, and the couple is raising a new generation of potential Boxers who enjoy Pacific University athletic events.