Henry Martin Gunn (1947-1950)


Henry Martin Gunn was born July 7, 1898 in Lexington, Kentucky and was educated at Oregon Normal School, the University of Oregon, and Stanford University. He served in the Navy in World War One and continued as a sailor on merchant ships following the war. His first teaching job was in Umatilla, Oregon; he was eventually promoted to Assistant Principal. He later moved to Portland, Oregon, where he was Principal of Lincoln High School from 1933 to 1940. He became Superintendent of Portland Schools from 1940-1944 and Superintendent of Eugene School District from 1944-1947.

During Gunn's tenure as college President, the Oregon College of Education experienced a dramatic increase in student enrollment and several construction projects on campus, including: new library construction began (now known as Academic Programs and Support Center), and renovations to the Campus Elementary School building (now known as Information Technology Center) including the North Wing addition and upgrades in plumbing. In 1961, Gunn was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators. Along with his extensive work in both public schools and higher education, Gunn also served as president of the Portland City Club, prime minister of Portland’s Rosarians, board member of the Portland Civic Theatre, and board member for Lewis and Clark College. After leaving service at OCE, he accepted a position as Superintendent of Palo Alto School District in California. Palo Alto’s third high school, Henry M. Gunn High School, was named after Gunn. The school opened in 1964 and is still in existence today. Henry Martin Gunn died in his California home in December, 1988.