March 17, 1905|
Red Fork, Oklahoma,
|Died||June 4, 2007
|Education||East Central University|
|Employer||Roseburg Forest Products|
|Spouse(s)||Kenneth W. Ford|
Hallie Brown Ford (March 17, 1905 – June 4, 2007) was an American business person and philanthropist. A native of Oklahoma, she acquired her wealth in Oregon through the timber industry. As a philanthropist she made donations to many institutions in Oklahoma and Oregon to support education and the arts. Hallie Ford Museum of Art and several other institutions at Willamette University in Oregon are named in her honor, as are several items at her alma mater East Central University in Oklahoma.
Hallie Brown was born in Red Fork, Oklahoma, on March 17, 1905. At the time it was Indian Territory, with Oklahoma becoming a state in 1907. She attended Beggs High School where she was valedictorian. She worked her way through college at East Central State Normal School (now East Central University) in the town of Ada. There she earned a teaching certificate and a bachelor’s degree in 1930. After college she began teaching in Oklahoma.
She moved to Lebanon, Oregon with her parents and began teaching in that area during the Great Depression. She met Kenneth Ford there, and the two married in 1935. After their marriage they moved to the Roseburg, Oregon, area where they started and ran the Roseburg Lumber Company (now Roseburg Forest Products Company). They had a daughter, Carmen, and a son, Allyn. In 1957, with her husband, she helped found the charitable organization that became the Ford Family Foundation. In 1959, she worked with artist Harry Widman on a 200-plus piece art exhibit for Oregon's Centennial in Roseburg. In Roseburg she was a civic leader, and was given the First Citizens Award in 1967 by the local chamber of commerce.
Later years and philanthropy
Hallie moved to Salem, Oregon in 1972. In 1975, she became a member of the board of trustees at Willamette University in Salem. In 1992 her alma mater, East Central University, named her as a distinguished alumni. The Fords' charity created the Ford Scholars Program scholarships for Oregon students in 1993. She then started the Ford Opportunity Scholarship Program in 1995 for single parents. Ford became a lifetime member of the board of trustees at Willamette in 1996, and received the Governor of Oregon's Arts Award for Arts Patronage. That year her charitable foundation became the Ford Family Foundation. Her husband Kenneth died on February 8, 1997. In 2002, she moved to an assisted living facility in Monmouth, Oregon.
In 2006, Ford donated an additional $8 million to Willamette University, the largest single donation in that school's history. In May 2007, Hallie Ford donated $15 million to the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the largest donation in that school's history. The donation would primarily be used for a visiting artists program. This donation to the college was the largest donation to any cultural group in Oregon's history. Also that month she was given the Distinguished Philanthropist Award by East Central University.
Given before her death, but announced after her death was an $8 million donation to Oregon State University, the alma mater of her daughter Carmen Ford Phillips. The gift went toward the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families as part of the school's College of Health and Human Sciences.
Death and legacy
Hallie Ford died on June 4, 2007 in Monmouth, Oregon, at the age of 102 after a brief illness. Ford Hall at Willamette University is named in her honor, as is the school's English and literature endowed professorship. At East Central University the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center and the Hallie Brown Ford Award for Philanthropy honor her legacy at the school where she donated approximately $7 million over the years.
- Much, Justin. Philanthropist gave to variety of causes. Statesman Journal, June 13, 2007.
- East Central University benefactor Hallie Brown Ford dies in Oregon. US States News, June 11, 2007.
- Cowan, Ron. Layers of knowledge. Statesman Journal, August 20, 2006.
- Walker, Charles L. Investing in People. NW Education, Winter 1998. Retrieved December 15, 2007.
- School briefs Gresham outdoor school fund-raiser: Gresham-Barlow. The Oregonian, June 27, 2002.
- About Us. The Ford Family Foundation. Retrieved December 15, 2007.
- Special Edition: Roseburg Woodsman. Roseburg Forest Products. Retrieved on December 15, 2007.
- Kim, Eunice. Willamette University plans academic building on State St. Statesman Journal, November 23, 2007.
- Libby, Brian. PNCA Receives $15 Million Gift. Portland Architecture, May 22, 2007.
- Wood, Shelby. OSU gets $8 million to help state families. The Oregonian, June 15, 2007.
- Deaths elsewhere. The Houston Chronicle, June 9, 2007.
- Gifts and Bequests. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, June 29, 2007. Gazette; Pg. 45 Vol. 53 No. 43.
- Museum Gets $12-Million; Other New Donations. The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 28, 2007. GIVING; Pg. 17 Vol. 19 No. 18.