Brian Doyle was recruited to come to the University of Portland and edit Portland Magazine, our alumni newsletter, in 1991. In his twenty-five years of service, the magazine became an award winning literary journal through essays and profiles highlighting University Events, Accomplishments, Alumni , and all the stories of why the University of Portland is a home and community for students, faculty, and all who belong to the Bluff.
Brian died on May 27, 2017. He was an award winning editor, a widely published and award winning author, and, for the students who worked at publications and journalism on campus, Brian was a spark, friend, inspiration, and mentor.
He was a pied-piper, who wrote an annual public-service announcement for The Beacon calling students to the vocation of writer, life-participant:
(from January 24, 2013)
Question: you like telling stories, don’t you? I mean, that’s why you have friends, and that’s why people enjoy your company, and that’s why you enjoy their company, largely because you share stories that make you laugh and think and sometimes even move you to the bottom of your soul.
So why not work for The Beacon?
(answering objections, in January 23, 2014)
I don’t have the time …
Yes, you do. Look at yourself right now, in those ratty pajamas, watching the “Burn Notice” episode for the ninth time. Good Lord, man, get out of your room. And pick up that towel off the floor before you go.
I have no experience…
Yes, you do. You collect stories. You share stories. You trade stories. You remember stories. You are stories. Your family, friends, pursuits, thrills, adventures, ambitions, dreams — all stories. Why not put that curiosity and hunger for stories to work, on, say, the yearbook staff? Wouldn’t it be cool to try and catch the joys and shivers for a year on The Bluff in stories and photographs and paintings for the Log?
We remember his service at the university primarily through his work as a writer. Brian Doyle was also a great audience.
One of Brian’s essays in a Museum blog post, July 16, 2014: