Founding Trustees Honored at Hands Across Corvallis

Twenty-eight years ago, amidst challenges in public education funding, a group of community leaders came together with a shared vision to make a difference and laid the groundwork for the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation to support local schools and inspire learning for a lifetime. 

Two of the founding Trustees – Gretchen Morris and Tony Van Vliet – were present at the recent Hands Across Corvallis fundraiser where the current Board of Trustees honored their legacy by making a $6,000 donation to CPSF in their names. This gesture symbolizes the enduring gratitude and recognition for their pioneering efforts and unwavering commitment to enhancing education in Corvallis.

Gretchen Morris, a retired attorney and lifelong advocate for public education, reflects on the Foundation’s journey: “Public schools are a bedrock in the foundation of our democracy. The public’s response to the very first Foundation fundraising effort showed that Corvallis residents shared this vision.” She emphasizes the importance of continuing the Foundation’s impactful work, stating, “Making high-quality public education available to all students is even more vital today to strengthen our community.”

Tony Van Vliet, with a distinguished career in Forestry at Oregon State University and two decades of educational advocacy in the Oregon Legislature, echoes Morris’s sentiments: “Our Foundation came during a period of diminishing public funding with the hope to add to a few essential needs that teachers requested.” He expresses pride in the Foundation’s growth and resilience, adding, “With excellent leadership and devotion, it has grown beyond our dreams and fills more and more needs in trying times.”

Please join us in honoring the legacy of Gretchen, Tony, all Founding Trustees, and early supporters of the Foundation! Their dedication and foresight continue to positively shape Corvallis’ educational landscape and make a meaningful difference for students.