George Fox University’s support organization has a new name: Legacy League

September 14th, 2018

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Formerly the George Fox University Auxiliary, the organization will continue to support student scholarship program

NEWBERG, Ore. – The name has changed, but the role of George Fox University’s longtime support organization remains the same. The group formerly known as the “George Fox University Auxiliary” has a new name: George Fox University Legacy League, the fifth name for the organization since its founding in 1910.

While continuing its mission and purpose, the organization is being retitled because of its association with the former women’s auxiliary, which created some confusion, according to organization executive committee member and vice president Dwight Kimberly, a longtime George Fox biology professor. He said the change was considered for several years and approved by the full membership last spring.

Kimberly added that a primary reason for the selected new name is that it is “descriptive for the work we are doing and the commitment to honor the school’s past.”

Since 2000, the organization’s emphasis has been on providing student scholarships, currently with an endowment of about $112,000, and two scholarships of about $2,500 awarded each year. Over the decades, the auxiliary’s projects have included sponsoring an annual fine arts festival and various programs and concerts, and, for nearly 50 years, sponsoring an annual Christmas Bazaar.

Now funding comes from gifts, luncheons, an annual organ/hymn sing program and new events now being scheduled. This year, the Legacy League will host five luncheon programs with speakers, usually featuring alumni or campus leaders. Luncheons are $10 and start at noon in Canyon Commons. The first luncheon is Friday, Sept. 21, featuring George Fox President Robin Baker discussing campus changes, including new facilities and faculty.

Other programs are:

  • Nov. 2: Adam Puckett, George Fox athletic director, discussing how the athletic program fits the university
  • Jan. 18: Rhett Luedtke and Bryan Boyd, theater professors, discussing upcoming programs
  • March 1: Rob Simpson, director of campus recreation, discussing the new Hadlock Student Center
  • May 15: Nathanael Ankeny, music professor, discussing the jazz program and his ministry
  • Reservations are required by contacting Judy Woolsey at 503-538-7314 or Connie Magee at 503- 927-5011.

    Created as the Pacific College Women’s Auxiliary in the home of a Newberg resident on Oct. 15, 1910, the organization went by that name for 39 years, until 1949, when the Newberg college changed its name from Pacific to George Fox, honoring the founder of the Friends (Quaker) movement. It was then the George Fox College Women’s Auxiliary.

    That name lasted 28 years, until 1977, when for the first time men were officially welcome to become regular members after years of being allowed as honorary members. It was then the George Fox College Auxiliary. Another name change was necessitated after 19 years when, in 1996, the college, after beginning graduate programs and absorbing Western Evangelical Seminary, became a university.

    Now, after 22 years, the newest name is being adopted to “appreciate our heritage,” according to Ruth Baker, executive committee member and wife of George Fox President Robin Baker. She notes it steps away from any lingering interpretation that the support organization is primarily oriented to women. The name is adapted from a similar support group at Samford University in Alabama.

    The George Fox organization started as the idea of two Newberg women, still remembered on campus with a building named in their honor: Wood-Mar Hall, the historic Old Main opened in 1911. Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin in 1910 canvassed the Newberg countryside with a horse and buggy to raise $30,000 (nearly $750,000 in today’s dollars) to erect the three-story building. At the same time, they had the idea to begin the auxiliary organization and gathered 225 initial members. For the first 30 years, from 1911 to 1941, the auxiliary had one president: the college’s first lady, Rebecca Pennington, the wife of president Levi Pennington.

    When founded, the auxiliary provided direct help to students, with hundreds of volunteers involved in raising funds to supply students in Kanyon Hall (later named Minthorn Hall) with basic dormitory room essentials of kerosene lamps, pillows, blankets and dresser scarves, and the dorm’s kitchen with equipment and even tea towels.

    Funds were raised by serving at banquets, selling alumni items, sponsoring lectures and dramas, painting stairways and selling snacks at meetings and the local train station. Later the emphasis was on canning gallons and gallons of fruit. One year the group preserved 649 quarts of fruit and 722 quarts of vegetables.

    In 1947, when the college added a new and separate dining hall, the emphasis changed from food service to other campus needs. Over the years the auxiliary provided a new refurnished alumni lounge in Minthorn Hall; funded shelving and cabinets for the Quaker Room in the newly opened Shambaugh Library; spurred and funded the project to improve the campus quad with its first Victorian light fixtures; raised money to provide the campus with two lighted reader boards; and, in more recent years, provided presidential china for special events and furnishings for the Edwards-Holman Science Center atrium. In 1998, its big project was to provide funding to furnish the public area of the Edwards House, Newberg’s second oldest residence, as it was restored to become the new home for the university president.

    George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Regional University.” Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


    Rob Felton
    George Fox University

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