Pacific Preserves Personal Collection of Former Gov. Vic Atiyeh

An exhibition of papers, photographs and other artifacts belonging to former Oregon Governor Victor G. (Vic) Atiyeh will open at the Pacific University Library beginning Friday, Oct. 4.

Atiyeh selected the university to preserve his personal collection, which includes items from his long legislative career representing Washington County in Salem, his eight-year term as governor (1979-87) and his post-gubernatorial years as an advocate for the state's economic interests and the Oregon Republican Party.

"Governor Atiyeh's collection will contribute to the understanding of issues and events that shaped Oregon during the last decades of the 20th Century," Pacific University Librarian Marita Kunkel said. "He is one of Oregon's great leaders and we are deeply honored to be the stewards of this unique and valuable collection."

The exhibition is curated by university archivist Eva Guggemos and illustrates Atiyeh’s career and Oregon politics in the 1980s. His personal collection of political buttons, campaign advertisements  and gifts from Oregon’s trading partners will be on display.

Other objects range from an order declaring martial law in two counties during the Rajneesh crisis (never signed), as well as Jelly Belly candies and cigarettes from visits with President Reagan.

The library's archives will permanently house the acquisition, some of which has been digitized for viewing online.  

The exhibition will be open to the public from Oct. 4 through Dec. 15 during normal library hours. A private reception honoring Gov. Atiyeh and celebrating the opening of the exhibition will take place Oct. 3.

A longtime member of Pacific's Board of Trustees who is now a trustee emeritus, Atiyeh received an honorary doctor of letters from the university in 1996 for his service to both the institution and fellow Oregonians.

For more information on the exhibition, please contact Pacific University Archives at


Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013