Hallie Brown Ford
(March 17, 1905 - June 4, 2007)
Hallie Brown Ford was East Central University's greatest benefactor. Ford has given approximately $7 million to ECU. She donated funds to establish and enhance ECU's Franciso-Hatchett Scholarships and to furnish and equip the new Linsheid Library.
Her $5.25 million gift to the ECU Foundation Inc., the largest private gift to benefit the university, was the start of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. An additional $650,000 gift was earmarked for audio equipment for the center and for scholarship funds.
ECU named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1992, and in 2007, honored her with the Distinguished Philanthropist Award for her many gifts to the university. The award in future years will be named the Hallie Brown ford Award for Philanthropy.
Ford was born in Red Ford, Indian Territory, on March 17, 1905. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at Beggs High School and put herself through ECU, graduating in 1930 with a teaching certificate. She taught briefly in Oklahoma, then followed her parents to Oregon and taught in the Lebanon area.
She married Kenneth W. Ford in 1935 and moved to Roseburg, OR. She played an active role with him in establishing and growing Roseburg Lumber Co., now known as Roseburg Forest Products Co.
She became an active leader in business and community affairs and a generous supporter of education and the arts. She was one of the founders, in 1957, of the Ford Family Foundation, which has helped numerous arts organizations, universities, and scholarship recipients, primarily in Oregon.
Ford lived frugally, her family said, and reserved most of her wealth to benefit others. The foundation's website quotes her belief that "It's not what you have, but what you give to your family, your community, and your country."
Among her awards were the Governor's Arts Award for Arts Patronage, the Support of Arts Scholarship Programs in 1996, and the Roseburg First Citizens Award from the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce in 1967.