President's Circle Leadership Team
The President’s Circle is guided by a team of volunteers who are committed to developing a culture of philanthropy at Linfield College. These individuals promote giving with the goal of expanding the membership in the President’s Circle and developing the resources that will advance Linfield’s mission. These leaders serve as ambassadors for the college and are the hosts for the annual President’s Circle dinner.
John Hubbard '62, chair
David Dillon '89
Ardis Ferguson '67
Bob Ferguson '65
Judy (Jandrey) Hubbard '63
Gilan M. Menegat '80
Peter Miller '69
Eric Nichols '81
Robin (Burmeister) Nichols '82
Jeff Owens '79
Jon Owens '06
Sherri (Dunmyer) Partridge '86
Justin Samples '05
Megan (Busse) Samples '05
Robert (Bob) Stewart '66
John Hubbard ’62, chair, is proud to be a volunteer member of the President’s Circle Leadership Team for many reasons, including that he holds Linfield to be an essential part of his family’s development.
“We received a quality education, were taught how to think and were well trained for the workforce,” said Hubbard, who earned a degree in business. “Linfield was also the catalyst for bringing Judy Jandrey ‘63 and me together as a couple.”
Looking back on his years as a student, Hubbard is thankful for all the people who helped him complete his education. He especially appreciates the efforts of his then-employer, Bill Rutherford, Sr., owner of the Rutherford Variety Store, who aided Hubbard with financial support during his senior year.
With Linfield degree in hand, Hubbard was hired by John Deere, where he worked for 30 years. After retiring in 1992, he earned an M. Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and later obtained his doctorate in ministry. Currently, he is a chaplain and the assistant director of pastoral care at Providence Hospital in Portland.
Recognizing the difference Linfield can make in an individual’s future, Hubbard explains the importance of maintaining such an institution.
“Giving and volunteering is the only way the product, Linfield, will be able to continue. It is important to build an endowment,” said Hubbard. “If you don’t, sometime down the road, the Linfield that we know won’t be here.”
Hubbard believes it is important for people to support their college and focus on helping in specific ways. “I know what kind of heritage we want to leave,” says Hubbard, “that of a stronger Linfield.”
Dave Dillon ’89 graduated with a B.A. in political science and economics. He is currently the executive vice president for the Oregon Farm Bureau. Dillon looks back fondly on his time at Linfield and is motivated to help others share his positive experience.
“Linfield College changed my life, gave me opportunities I wouldn’t have had anywhere else,” Dillon said. “There were a lot of people that put in a lot of work to make my experience what it was; I want to do the same for others.”
While at Linfield his junior year, Dillon served as a student- trustee. After graduating he went on to serve on the Alumni Association Board for six years, ultimately becoming a member of the Board of Trustees in 1996. While thankful for his opportunities at Linfield, Dillon also realizes the importance of giving back.
“I know how little of the cost to educate me, I actually paid” said Dillon. Now a member of the President’s Circle, Dillon heeds the advice of former Linfield president Charlie Walker who on graduation day said to him, “I look forward to you supporting the college from this day forward. If the college is successful it will be a reflection on you.”
Dave and his wife Anastacia (Sims) ’89 reside in Tigard, Oregon with their two children.
Ardis Ferguson ’67 followed in the footsteps of her sister, Judy (Erikson) McCormick ’61, when she chose to attend Linfield. After graduating, Ardis served as a flight attendant with United Airlines until her retirement in 2003.
Ferguson and her husband Bob ’65, have remained active in college alumni activities. “We love the people here and would like to help students choose their walk in life,” she said.
Ferguson has big plans for the Leadership Team. She hopes to get all alumni to make at least a modest gift annually to the school.
“We need to set the examples for new graduates in giving time and money to keep Linfield successful,” said Ferguson, who believes that it is important for Linfield alums to take leadership roles for the benefit of the college.
Ferguson supports the Wildcat football team and wants to encourage students to study or live abroad.
Bob Ferguson ’65 graduated from Linfield with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While at Linfield, he led the Wildcat football team to the NAIA national championship and is now a member of the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.
In addition to leading the Wildcats to three Northwest Conference championships, he was a member of Theta Chi fraternity, the speech and debate team and was a senior men’s honorary president of the Cardinal Circle, a club comprised of varsity letter winners of all sports.
Following graduation, he became a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning a Purple Heart in Vietnam as a photo reconnaissance navigator. He discovered his career niche after founding Reps Northwest, an agency representing sporting goods and advertising suppliers.
At 61, Ferguson earned a master’s degree in teaching and became a published author. In his recent memoir, “Some Days Chicken, Some Days Feathers,” he reflects on his days at Linfield and in Vietnam.
Now retired, Ferguson hopes that by serving on the Leadership Team he can give back to Linfield.
“It is my dream that Linfield will educate the leaders of the next generation,” said Ferguson. “It is important to continue the academic and athletic excellence which creates a well rounded student.”
He believes that it is important for alumni to take leadership roles to keep this tradition alive.
Judy (Jandrey) Hubbard ’63 joined the President’s Circle Leadership Team in 2008. Hubbard attended Linfield as a pre-nursing student before graduating from St. Francis Memorial School of Nursing in San Francisco in 1964. Her positive experience at Linfield motivated her to join the Leadership Team.
Hubbard believes in supporting the causes of organizations in which she believes. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with my husband (John ’62) on a committee for which we both feel a common bond.”“I have always felt a loyalty to Linfield due to the good education that I received in preparing me for the profession of nursing and because of the lifelong friendships made during the two years at Linfield,” she said. She is currently the Parish Nurse for the Presbyterian Urban Network in Portland.
Her overall objectives are to renew other former students' loyalty to Linfield, to encourage that loyalty to translate into financial support of the college and to increase communication between the alumni and the current college teaching staff, the administration and the students.
Gilan M. Menegat ’80 graduated from Linfield with a B.A. in history. Her vision for the Leadership Team is to promote Linfield’s mission while serving to advance the college through new ideas and sound guidance. “I am interested in giving back to the institution, which was so generous to me,” she said.
Her commitment to education led her to become a high school social science and language arts teacher and later, a school district central office administrator overseeing curriculum, instruction and professional development. Menegat went onto receive a Master's degree, administrative licensure, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Lewis and Clark. She is currently a contract researcher and consultant.
Menegat looks back on her years at Linfield with appreciation. “Linfield provided me the skills to pursue a career in education, and I credit my time there as one of the experiences that led to my success. As a result, I have always felt a deep commitment to the college,” she said.
Menegat believes Linfield offers its students a quality education that blends academic rigor and community support. “I believe in the experience Linfield provides and am interested in ensuring its programs are available to students long into the future,” she said.
Pete Miller ’69 was motivated to volunteer on the President’s Circle Leadership Council out of appreciation for Linfield’s long connection with his family. Pete spent the first five years of his life on College Avenue, and both of his parents as well as two aunts are Linfield alums. “I hope to give back to Linfield College for all of its contributions to my family, as well as my own personal and professional growth,” Miller said.
Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and went on to a career in education. He taught in McMinnville, as well as overseas for the Department of Defense, and served as principal at schools in Carlton and Sherwood before retiring in 2009.
Miller hopes to increase the size of Linfield’s endowment, and to help set Linfield apart from other schools that are struggling. “The efforts of volunteers like me will assist in growing and maintaining Linfield as one of the best colleges in the country,” Miller said.
Eric Nichols '81 came to Linfield to play football and attend small classes with great professors. “It is one of the best decisions I have ever made,” he said.
Nichols is the vice president of information technology at Sublimity Insurance Company. He hopes to contribute to Linfield’s success as a member of the President’s Circle Leadership Team.
“I want to help other alumni see the great work Linfield is doing so that they will want to give back to and support the college so it can continue to be an outstanding community of learning,” Nichols said.
Nichols feels it is important for alumni to take leadership roles for the college. “We should work to make the ‘Linfield Experience’ available for current and future students,” Nichols said.
Nichols hopes that Linfield will continue to make the college affordable for students, expand programs and opportunities on campus and around the world, retain excellent and caring professors and staff, and maintain and upgrade classrooms and campus grounds.
Robin (Burmeister) Nichols ’82 wanted to attend a college with ties to the American Baptist churches. She found the perfect fit at Linfield. “I knew it was where I wanted to be,” she said.
Nichols graduated and pursued her career as a CPA with Boldt, Carlisle & Smith, LLC. She is excited to be a part of the President’s Circle Leadership Team.
“I want to encourage others to contribute to Linfield so that students can continue to enjoy the Linfield experience,” Nichols said.
Nichols believes alumni leaders are crucial to the school’s success. “It is important to give to the college that was so influential in shaping who I am,” she said. She hopes that with her role on the leadership team, she will be active in gaining more alumni financial support.
Nichols said her dream for Linfield is “to continue to be one of the finest liberal arts colleges for generations of students to experience.”
Jeff Owens ‘79, who earned a business degree from Linfield, is a founding member of the President’s Circle Leadership Team, having served since 2003. “It is important to give back, especially to organizations that have a dramatic impact on your life.”
Jeff made lifelong friendships during his student years, and said it’s important to remember those who helped him become the individual he is today. He credits Coach Ad Rutschman ’54 for being a lifelong mentor and providing the best classroom at Linfield College. “Ad taught all of us discipline, a positive attitude and how to handle adversity.”
Jeff volunteers for the college to help assure that the Linfield experience will be available for future generations of Linfield students. “I know my son Jon ’06 had a similar experience as I see in him the same work ethic and focus,” he said.
Owens is the President of the Business Planning Group in Clackamas Oregon.
Jon Owens ‘06 joined the President’s Circle Leadership Team in 2008. Jon joins his father Jeff Owens ’79 in continuing a long family tradition of service to Linfield.
Owens graduated from Linfield with a B.S. in Business and went to Wells Fargo for a few years working as a Credit Manager and Mortgage Consultant. In the last year, Jon has completed the required Insurance and Securities licensing exams (Life/Health, Series 7, 63 and 65), and has joined The Business Planning Group. Jon is excited to be working side by side with his father and enjoys the business that he began building over thirty years ago.
Jon is excited about joining the leadership team and is enthusiastic about the possibilities. He will be pleased to do whatever he can to help LC. It is important to Owens that others will have access to the same experiences he did through Greek Life, Studying Abroad, Athletics and Club Sports.
Sherri (Dunmyer) Partridge ‘86 joined the President’s Circle Leadership Team in 2008. Partridge has served the college in several capacities, most recently on the Linfield Magazine advisory board since 2006.
Partridge, annual giving and special events officer for Salem Hospital Foundation, graduated from Linfield with a B.A. in mass communications and a minor in sociology, and calls her Linfield experience “amazing.”
“I am happy to play any role I can in encouraging my fellow alumni to remember their Linfield experience as fondly as I do, and make a gift in support of the college,” she said. While a student at Linfield, Partridge interned in the marketing department at Salem Hospital and was hired after graduation. “My internship was like the golden ticket,” she said. “It opened so many doors for me, especially being offered a wonderful job doing work that was actually something I studied in college.” Partridge spent 16 years in the marketing department, before moving to the Salem Hospital Foundation.
President’s Circle gifts support many programs, including scholarships. Partridge remembers her family’s financial sacrifice and understands the importance of scholarships. “I know how important scholarships are for many students who need just that extra help in order to become a Wildcat,” she said. “Like many of my fellow alumni, I not only received a first class education, but also made life-long friends at Linfield, so I proudly give my financial support to the college, and encourage other alumni to do the same.”
Partridge’s vision is to not only share her Linfield experience, but also to stay actively involved in what’s currently happening at the college, and in turn have her enthusiasm and financial support rub off on her classmates.
Justin Samples ’05 chose to study finance at Linfield because of the college’s academic, cultural and social reputation. As a student he was active in Theta Chi fraternity and was a member of the football team.
Samples joined the Leadership Team in an effort to give back to the institution that gave him so much. He hopes to encourage other alumni to support the institution and to take leadership roles in the college community.
Samples believes that alumni have a unique opportunity to play key roles as leaders in the college community. “As alumni, we have seen the areas where Linfield is great, as well as the areas of opportunity,” he said.
With his involvement on the Leadership Team, Samples will work to encourage more alumni to give back to Linfield and ultimately help current students from all backgrounds further their education and personal development.
Samples’ dream for his alma mater is for it to continue to be one of the top private colleges on the West Coast that provides students with a wide array of experiences.
Samples, a branch manager for Ameriprise Financial, competes in triathalons and Ironman competitions.
Megan (Busse) Samples ‘05 selected Linfield College to study international business, mathematics, and French. “Combining a study abroad program that was second to none and an incredible financial aid package, it was the perfect fit for me,” Samples said. She currently works as the Branded Program Manager for the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association.
Samples joined the Leadership Team to give back to the institution that helped shape who she is today. “Knowing that there were those who served before me and gave before me is my motivating factor. It is a legacy to continue,” She added she believes it is important for alumni to take leadership roles in order to give back and help maintain the legacy for future generations.
“I want to see an increasing number of alumni give at the President’s Circle level, get involved, promote positive change and continue to support our alma mater,” said Samples.
Samples hopes her contribution will help students enjoy the Linfield experience. She believes alumni need to be involved to ensure Linfield’s continued success in educating future leaders.
Robert (Bob) Stewart ‘66 has served on the President’s Circle Leadership team since 2007. As a volunteer member, he enjoys the support he provides and feels appreciated as a donor.
Stewart grew up in Madras where Henry Lever, long time Linfield coach and athletic director, also lived. With Lever’s encouragement, Stewart played football at Linfield and graduated with a B.S. in physical education and earned a Masters in Education in 1969. He went on to a successful coaching career and served as mayor of Newberg for two terms.
Stewart and the entire 1965 Linfield College football team were inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. “Linfield has had 55 winning seasons since 1956 and I'm proud to be a part of that winning tradition," Stewart said. "It was a great experience to be a part of a small school. I have been pretty involved at Linfield College. It's a great school."
Stewart looks back on his Linfield years fondly, recounting the many benefits he achieved. Not only did he earn an exceptional education, but he also met his wife, Mary ‘66. Keeping Linfield in the family, Stewart’s daughter, Kendall, graduated in 1999 and her husband Gabe Doebler is a 2000 graduate. During Kendal’s years as a student she enjoyed her experiences and thrived in the small class atmosphere.
Staying connected to Linfield and his classmates is an act Stewart values and practices. Stewart remains close with his football teammates and his Theta Chi Fraternity brothers. “My friends that went to larger universities only have a hand full of friends from college but having attended Linfield, we all stay in touch,” he said.
Through his leadership with the President’s Circle, he contributes to the strength of Linfield’s programs and student support.
“Linfield is a small college that reaches out and touches students’ lives and helps them to become adults,” said Stewart.
His hope is that more individuals will help will help Linfield to remain strong for at least another 150 years. “This is an institution where students can receive an excellent education while building life-long relationships,” he added.
For more information, please contact Kathryn Karr, college relations officer, by email or at 503-883-2548.