David Avison

David Avison BA '68



Degree and Class Year

BA ’68


Salem, Oregon

Current City

Tualatin, Oregon




Class President; KLC Radio; SAE Fraternity

Job Title, Organization

Attorney at Law: Corporate Counsel, Tokola Corp, 15 years; private practice


Law Clerk, 1972–74

Continuing Studies

JD, Willamette University, 1974; MPA, Lewis & Clark, 1980

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

Challenging, Supportive, Relational

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The strong history department (I transferred in as a junior).

What have you been doing since graduation?

Three years active in the Navy, three years of law school. Then I practiced law and did extensive volunteer work in nonprofit employment (development and executive director).

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your career?

It taught me to be flexible, and to take on new challenges.

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

To apply learning to real-world challenges and tasks.

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

My fellow board members and the Office of Alumni staff. During my service as board president, I enjoyed the relationships with the college president, the trustees, and the college professors and staff.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I continue to volunteer on the Albany Society Board and participate in campus events.

Have you been to Alumni Weekend or other programming, like Homecoming, etc.? What did you enjoy about the event(s)?

Seeing long-time classmates and other L&C friends.

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

I try to remind them of how much the college supported them as students, and to pay it forward.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

It is an essential basis for life-long learning and success.

Why did you major in history?

It was fun, and a good prep for law.

What did you minor in?

There weren’t minors when I attended L&C, but I took a lot of English literature courses. It trained me to read quickly and for effect. That is, go through the material quickly but get the gist. Also very good prep for law school and a law career.

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

Don Balmer’s Washington D.C. trip/class during my MPA course work.

Where did you find your community on campus?

In my residence hall, major, and fraternity.

Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

Dr. John Brown was my major mentor.