Senator Mark O. Hatfield ’43 passed away peacefully on Aug. 7, 2011 at the age of 89.
A native Oregonian, Senator Hatfield was born in Dallas, the son of a railroad blacksmith and schoolteacher. He attended Willamette University until the U.S. entered World War II, at which point he enlisted in the Navy. After his tour of duty, he received a Masters degree from Stanford and taught at Willamette — and then he began his long career of public service.
Both Oregon’s youngest elected Governor and longest serving Senator, Hatfield quickly proved to be an adept politician. During the Vietnam War he was given the title “The Conscience of the Senate” for his staunch anti-war position. Hatfield’s political efforts centered on education and civil rights programs. When he left office in 1997 he had never lost an election.
Senator Hatfield has a long history with OSU having signed the legislation that changed its name from Oregon State College, to its present Oregon State University on March 6, 1961. He also secured much of the funding for the University’s Marine Science Center which now bears his name.
For more on Hatfield’s life and work, visit Willamette University’s “Farewell to Senator Mark O. Hatfield” page.
We’ve created a Flickr set of Hatfield’s time at OSU, visit for some wonderful images!