Father Joseph L. Powers, C.S.C., died on January 17, 1980, at the age of 64 after battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He served at the University from 1951 until 1978, first as a faculty member in the history department and then from 1962 until 1971 as executive vice president of the University.
During the next year he served as resident director of the University’s program in Salzburg, Austria, and upon his return to Portland he was appointed assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; he became dean of the college the following year. As executive vice president he oversaw the construction of Buckley Center and designed the peace garden in the plaza outside Buckley Center auditorium. Built in a space which originally contained a large fountain that for some reason never worked, the Peace Garden contains plants native to each of the continents living together in harmony as a symbol for a longed-for, if unachieved, political and human harmony. Fr. Powers also promoted the establishment of the Peace Studies Program.
For more information on University history from this week, see the University Almanac at www.up.edu/almanac.