Jackson Shea

Jackson Shea



Degree and Class Year

BS ’89

Current City

Portland, Oregon




Chemistry and Communications (double)


Speech and debate, Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, Judicial Board

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Challenging, Mind-expanding, Illuminating

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Initially, it was the Summer College for High School Juniors program, but what made me stay was the experience I had after getting here.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

Education that is focused on knowledge rather than information; thought and discourse with an emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches and critical thinking rather than rote memorization of what’s already established knowledge.

How did you select your major?

Philosophy had always interested me—especially ethics and epistemology—and it was a sensible choice for my original trajectory of pursuing a law degree.

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your career?

After shifting from pursuing law, I was luckily able to fall back on a hobby with computers, which developed into a solid career. Being able to communicate effectively both in writing and via public speaking set me apart in the IT business. The critical thinking skills L&C instilled in me made me an effective advocate for client needs while advancing the interests of my company.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

To maintain a sense of wonder about the world and how to offer that sense of wonder back to others.

What’s your favorite part or most memorable experience of serving on the Board of Alumni?

The feeling that my efforts enable others to have the same world-opening experience I had at L&C and getting to see the awe-inspiring quality of current students that are taking full advantage of those efforts.

How do you encourage other alumni to give back to the college?

Attend an event, if possible, to hear students and representatives speak about all the exciting efforts that are happening at the college. Check out the website or read the alumni newsletter to learn more about the staff, students and faculty. Visit campus again. It not only floods one with nostalgia, but fills one with pride and wonder at all the positive changes that have taken place recently, like new student housing, art gallery, state of the art classroom spaces, and department buildings.