January 03, 2013

Bill Sack ‘56 and Susan Sack ‘59

Having met as students in the 50’s at Lewis & Clark, Bill and Susan Sack have carried on the knowledge and interests they discovered while at Lewis & Clark and have come full circle in giving back in different ways to the college that gave them so much.

The day that changed her life began with Susan Fiscus being fitted for the dress she would wear as queen of Lewis & Clark’s May Fete. Afterward, she and a friend got together with the friend’s brother and his medical student buddies. When one of those buddies phoned Susan for a date, she said yes—even though she couldn’t recall what he looked like. Two years later, they married. In May 2011, they celebrated their golden anniversary.

“It’s been great, wonderful,” says Bill Sack today, smiling broadly. “Luckily, she didn’t turn me down when I asked her out.”

Bill graduated from Lewis & Clark in 1956 and Susan in 1959. “Lewis & Clark opened the world to me and expanded my knowledge and interests beyond medicine and science,” says Bill, who earned his MD in 1960. Adds Susan, “I was a nerd in high school and the college helped me blossom socially and in so many other ways.”

A pioneer in the field of child psychiatry, Bill directed OHSU’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for 22 years. While raising their daughter, Gretchen, Susan volunteered extensively with the OHSU School of Medicine Alliance and led intergenerational activities at Westminster Presbyterian Church. A piano major at Lewis & Clark, she also played in a piano trio for several years.

Members of the Leadership Society and the Heritage Society, Bill and Susan give to the Annual Fund, their class scholarships, and the Sack Family Scholarship, awarded to a student with interests in international affairs, particularly public health. Their support of Lewis & Clark students, faculty, and programs will continue through a bequest.

It all comes around to full circle giving, says Susan, “A sense of owing a lot to a school that gave us so much.”