Remembering Henry Price

By Katey Price

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Grandfather was delighted to be part of Pacific University. He was both a teacher and a life-long learner, born to a family of Quaker educators. His father (Ferris Walton Price) was a Swarthmore Latin professor, his mother (Ellen Helen Evans Price) was School Director for Swarthmore borough and his grandfather (John Ferris Price) owned a bookstore prior to the Civil War. His aunt Clara M. Price Newport was a Swarthmore German professor and his sister Helen Ellen Price a professor of Greek and Latin at Meredith College.

For Henry Price, Mathematics was the language that made everything at once sensible and beautiful; a social invention with practical applications and containing metaphors for reasoning and creativity in all of life.
In addition to his studies at Swarthmore, Henry was team captain for their championship lacrosse team and he was a natural leader among his classmates in engineering.

He had begun his advanced degree at the University of Pennsylvania, when he decided to explore and find the best place to spend the rest of his life. So, taking a year away, he got a job as conductor on a train. When he arrived in Forest Grove, he found his future wife, his home and his life work at Pacific University. Here, he was a beloved teacher and hearty participant in the many social activities on campus. He enjoyed the excitement of traditional scrambles for Boxer, and each year for homecoming week he organized the campus clean up, hiring a horse-drawn wagon to collect raked leaves.

Dr. Price was an energetic mentor; he tutored his math students at the family's dining table, finding new ways to approach and illuminate the material. He was a respected advisor for Blue Key Honor Society as well as advisor and honorary member of Gamma Sigma, the earliest fraternal organization west of the Rockies. He was involved in the wider academic community, teaching summer session at Pacific and Stanford universities, as well as University of Oregon extension courses in Portland for many years.

Dr. Price's main interest was education and Pacific, but he was also active in the local community. As a licensed professional engineer, he became surveyor and engineer for the City of Forest Grove. On weekends and in his free time, he liked nothing better than to change out of his three-piece suit, pick up his transit and chain and go surveying, accompanied by a few of his students. He platted many lots in Forest Grove and its outskirts, and we think he may have been responsible for changing numbered street names to tree street names in the city.

Henry Ferris Price was indeed dedicated to his family and community, his profession, his students and to Pacific University.

Katey Ellen Price is a secondary school teacher of science, math and art, granddaughter of Dr. Henry F. Price and daughter of Dr. John Walton Price'41 BA Mathematics, '50 OD.