LBCC Celebrates 50th Anniversary: Faculty and Staff honor recipients of Founder’s Award


Photo by Lori Fluge-Brunker

When faculty and staff entered, yellow and blue streamers adorned the commons, as well as two wide tables containing two “birthday” cakes, sparkling cider, and a display board showing the history of LBCC.


Carol Burress, the college’s first staff hire in the summer of 1967 as a secretary and later became a switchboard operator.

Bill Maier, who was hired on as a business manager in 1969 was known for coordinating celebrations at LBCC.

Charlie Mann, who was hired in 1969 as a developmental studies instructor, received the President’s Award for Excellence in 1986.

Dick McClain, who was hired  in 1969 as a baseball coach who won the 1992 Distinguished Staff award, and later retired from teaching to become the executive director of the Northwest Athletic Association.

Joyce Moreira, who was hired on in 1972, was a business technology faculty member and established a scholarship in honor of her late husband Anthony Moreira for LBCC business students.

Margaret Orsi, who was hired in 1969, served as secretary to the president of the college, and was given the LBCC Distinguished Staff Award in 1990.

Bill and Jane Siebler are a couple who have supported LBCC through their donations and work with the Benton Center Ceramics Lab and Main Campus art department.

Bob and Judy Talbott, who assisted Rosemary Bennett in her completion of her book on the history of LBCC.

On. Dec. 6, Linn-Benton Community College celebrated it’s 50th year anniversary with a party in the cafeteria.

In the early afternoon, John McArdle, Director of Development & Government Relations, welcomed all attendees to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of LBCC. McArdle started talking about the vote local citizens made in 1966 in order for the college to be created, voting with only a 2 to 1 margin.

“It only took nine months from that vote until the first classes were held,” said McArdle, in reference to how quickly the community came together to make LBCC a reality.

“Isn’t it hard to imagine this community without Linn-Benton Community College?” asked McArdle. “This college has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”

McArdle introduced Greg Hamann, president of the college, to the podium. Hamann spoke about the 2-to-1 margin LBCC faced, and the amount of work and effort the community made in order for LBCC to happen. Hamann then welcomed former mayor Russell Tripp.

“In addition to his work in planning and promoting the idea of LBCC, he served on the LBCC Board of Education for the first twelve years,” said Hamann.

The LBCC Foundation gave out five Founder’s awards in previous years. This year they gave out eight to people who were involved within past and present times of the college’s history.

Previous recipients are that of the late Dr. Bob Adams, an early senior administrator for LBCC; Rosemary Bennett, who wrote a book about the history of LBCC and how it came to be; Bob Ross, the first full-time faculty member at the college; James Goode, who served on the board of education one year after LBCC was created; and former Mayor Russell Tripp, who advocated for the college’s approval in 1966.

“It was the busiest time of my life,” said Tripp in response to his advocation for LBCC in the late 1960’s. “We would meet every couple of nights for LBCC, of the course the city was having a couple of meetings every night, so I didn’t get home very often, but it was a wonderful and busy time, I was young enough then, so I enjoyed being busy.”

Individuals honored during the event were that of: Carol Buress, Bill Maier, Charlie Mann, Dick McClain, Joyce Moreria, Margaret Orsi, Bill and Jane Siebler, and finally Bob and Judy Talbott.

“It’s very encouraging to see all that has taken place, not only in Albany, but Lebanon, Corvallis, and Sweet Home,” said Tripp, “It’s more development than we ever thought would take place, we knew it would be a great thing for this community.”


Story and Photo by Hannah Buffington