Steven Crow

Steven Crow BA '66



Degree and Class Year

BA ’66


Lostine, Oregon

Current City

Long Beach, California




Touring Choir, House Fellow/Head Fellow (names used for residence hall staff) in Forest Hall

Overseas study

Inaugural overseas group to Japan, 1962

Job Title, Organization

Retired from being the president of the Higher Learning Commission/NCA

Continuing Studies

MA and PhD in U.S. History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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

Beautiful, Academic, Faculty

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in Portland. I was also able to go on the college’s first overseas program to Japan, and I liked that it was Presbyterian (back then).

What have you been doing since graduation?

I was adjunct faculty on five different campuses in the ’70s, followed by a career in higher education accreditation from 1981–2008.

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your career?

It gave me confidence in my capacity to think creatively and critically.

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

How to thrive in a world very different from the one I grew up in, and/or in an environment unlike the one I just moved from (like going to the University of Wisconsin, teaching at Vanderbilt University and Bowdoin, traveling internationally as higher education quality assurance globalized).

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

Trying to revive some campus activities that created community (Otto Sack Day, for example) or introducing new ways to include alumni in graduation.

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

I read college publications, give annually, and created a named scholarship. I have engaged in some online program options.

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

I attended a 50th reunion of the Japan overseas program, and the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1966. Reunions are a mixed bag! Attending Alumni Board Meetings are more firmly a part of my memories.

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

I was a featured giver in one alumni publication. But I have not been very much involved in encouraging giving.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

Mind expanding and supportive of intellectual independence.

Why did you major in history?

A high school class sparked an interest that L&C faculty fanned into a fire.

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

Historiography, Robert Cruden. It simply opened up the understanding that historical thinking has less to do with mastering facts than creating an overarching interpretation of them.

Where did you find your community on campus?

Residence halls and with my fellow history majors.

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

I considered Robert Cruden and Rena Ratte to have been my mentors because they challenged me and made me feel competent.

If you studied overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience?

When the overseas program was announced, four options were given and Japan seemed the most exotic! After trying to do independent research in a country in which I could not read, write, or speak the language, I knew that nothing could stand in the way of my learning when I returned to the U.S.