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Jim Robertson

Class of 1978
La Cañada Flintridge, California

Jim grew up in the Central Valley of California, in the farming towns of Sanger, Merced, and Lodi.  He graduated from Lodi High School in 1973. He was drawn to Lewis & Clark because it was just far enough from home, and within easy reach of the ski slopes. After being admitted, he deferred enrollment for a year so he could attend school in the Netherlands as an exchange student.

At L&C, he majored in religious studies, after first trying his hand in political science and psychology. He considers the friendships he made with his dormmates from the freshman floors in Platt Hall particularly meaningful.  Some of his favorite memories include study breaks at Rose’s and Plush Pippin, and playing backgammon while listening to Dr. Demento on Sunday nights. 

Jim believes that a liberal arts college teaches students to think critically and to apply those critical thinking skills across a wide range of disciplines and subject matters.  “Don Balmer, (U.G. Dubach Professor Emeritus of Political Science), Jack Crampton, (professor emeritus of political science), and John Anderson (professor emeritus of religious studies) were particularly adept at challenging us to think better and more rigorously about what we were reading.  What you get from a liberal arts college is the opportunity to interact in small classes and seminars with sharp minds like that: professors who demand nothing less than your best effort and care more about teaching and training and mentoring than they do about seeing their names in print and garnering obscure academic awards,” he said.

Jim is currently senior legal counsel for the West Region of OpTerra Energy Services, where he provides comprehensive, strategic advice and legal services for operations, sales, marketing, and maintenance groups in California and Hawaii.  His role includes proactively identifying and addressing legal and compliance risks and liabilities across a broad spectrum of issues affecting the engineering, procurement, construction and operation of public-sector distributed generation and energy efficiency projects and the energy services business generally. 

Jim and Kayo live in La Cañada Flintridge, California.  Their daughter Emily graduated from Lewis & Clark in 2011; daughter Sarah graduated from Boston University in 2013.