Bee Tree Books



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A history of Pacific University (Oregon), written by Marion Fisk Giersbach (1900-1991), "A College Grows in Oregon" tells the story of an unlikely group of men and women who left homes, farms and occupations to the cross the continent in 1840 and build a school in Oregon. Their legacy endures today as Pacific University.



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Bee Tree Books


Forest Grove, OR


History | United States History


Marion Fisk Giersbach (1900-1991) received a diploma in children’s education from Oberlin College, studied dramatics and music at the Bush Conservatory (Chicago), and undertook studies at the Cleveland Art School; she completed her B.A. in English at Pacific University in 1946. Her career included teaching kindergarten and elementary school in Youngstown and Cleveland; serving as a cartographer and researcher at Chicago Theological Seminary; and teaching a summer course in Oregon history at Pacific University in the 1940s. In 1928, she married Walter C. Giersbach, D.D., Ph.D. and in 1941, Marion and Walter moved to Forest Grove, Oregon, where he served as president of Pacific University. While there, she organized the Tualatin Valley Historical Society and a Junior Historical Society in Forest Grove, and opened the museum in Pacific’s Old College Hall.

Walter Fisk Giersbach, their son, was raised while at Pacific and knew many of the pioneers’ children that Marion held dear as friends. And he watched for years as she carefully researched the beginnings of Pacific and formation of the Oregon Territory. During his mother’s later years, he edited her manuscript and has prepared it for publication today.

A College Grows in Oregon: The Splendid Audacity of Pacific University