Betty J. Youngblood (1995-2002)

Youngblood had twenty-six years of working in higher education prior to becoming President of Western Oregon State College (WOSC). Prior to coming to Western, she had been chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Youngblood was the first female President at WOSC and the second female President in the Oregon State System of Higher Education.

While at Western, Dr. Youngblood focused on setting budget priorities on marketing the institution at a time when resources were scarce and needs were many. The results were increased enrollment and the beginning of new academic programs which better suited the needs of students. She also guided the change in the school’s name to Western Oregon University (WOU).

During Youngblood’s tenure, degree programs in theater, dance, and music were implemented. Youngblood raised money for various building improvements and additions. One of her greatest accomplishments was the realization of a new 76,000 square-foot library, dedicated as Hamersly Library in September 2000, in which a conference room bears her name. In 2002, President Youngblood accepted the position of President at Lake Superior State University in Michigan. Dr. Youngblood has since continued to play an active role in higher education in the United States. She has authored several publications and has been involved with a variety of activities involving the United States and Indian governments. She was active with groups such as the YMCA, American Cancer Society, and the Salvation Army in her community.