Kathryn Devore / Staff writer
On Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 Theodore J. Day passed away. Day was a continuous supporter of Linfield College through his time, passion, and resources.
Day graduated from Linfield College in 1971 as an alumnus he wanted to continue supporting Linfield, the college that helped to make his future bright when things looked gloomy.
Believing that Linfield College was one of the best Liberal Art Colleges, he supported the school in any way he could after graduating. By encouraging donations from his family’s charities, Day was able to give back to Linfield in appreciation for the education that the college gave him.
Acting as one of the longest serving members on the Board of Trustees he gave a gift of $3 Million to renovate Northup Hall, which was the library before Nicholson. In 2010, upon completion, the Board of Trustees decided to rename Northup Hall to T. J. Day Hall in his honor. This was, and still is the largest gift made by any living individual.
In 1972 Day became a member of the Board of Trustees. During this time there he rose to vice-chair of the board.
Life was not always so successful for Day. During his first semester of undergraduate he attended New England College, but struggled to find his footing. As a result, Day was unhappy with school and did not attend the following semester at New England College. None of the 12 schools he applied to accepted him due to his poor grades.
Tom Meicho, Linfield’s Dean of Admission at the time, thought differently. Meicho looked at Day’s file a second time, and despite the non-exemplar grades still saw Day’s potential. He decided to give Day a second chance. After successfully passing two summer courses, Day was admitted as a Linfield Wildcat.
As a student, Day was well known on campus. Many knew him for his yellow 1970 Hemi Superbird he used to race to Portland at top speeds. Some knew him for the trained monkey his roommate had. Others knew Day as the guy who melted the recently installed speed bumps.
Although Day did enjoy a good time he also praised the education he received at Linfield.
Day once said, “The college and Tom Meicho gave me the break of my life, when all the other colleges on the West Coast said, ‘No.’ It is what I needed at that point in my life – a small, tight-knit place where I could have good relationships with professors and advisors.”
As you sit down in Walker Hall for a lecture take a moment to recognize Day, the man who helped make that building possible.
Kathryn Devore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.