A passion for Portland

18 Feb

Here’s our next-to-last feature post as we come down the home stretch on this project. We met Bill Findlay in Portland, Ore., last August. He and more than 100 other ISU alumni will be featured in the upcoming VISIONS Across America art exhibition in the Brunnier Art Museum April 3 – Aug. 9.

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Portland, Ore., has been very good to Bill.

Those are Bill Findlay’s words, not mine. But after spending half a day in Portland with Bill (’66 architecture) as our tour guide, it’s obvious that the city has, indeed been good to him. And he’s been good for the city.

Bill retired in April 2011 after first working as an architect for a dozen years and then working in the financial services industry for more than three decades. He’s spent 44 years as a board member or chairperson for Portland civic organizations including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Japanese Garden Foundation, Oregon Symphony, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Oregon Art Museum, Portland Opera, and many others.

His civic involvement began shortly after he moved to Portland when he became a member of the YMCA board.

“Overnight, I became involved on boards,” he said. “Once you get on a board, they tap you for everything.”

Bill isn’t complaining, though. He’s clearly proud of the volunteer work he’s done for the Portland Japanese Garden (“the No. 1 Japanese garden outside of Japan,” he says), the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and the unique wheelchair-accessible Portland Rotary Rose Garden Children’s Park – all of which he showed Jim and me during our time together.

He’s also a proud father to two grown children, John and Kathryn.

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