Lestle J. Sparks Medallion

Joan McNamara ’59

Joan (Sherrill) McNamara graduated with honors in psychology, having served as senior scholar in the department. At Willamette she was a member of Mortar Board; president of Psi Chi; vice president of the Delta Gamma sorority; junior class secretary; and president of Alpha Lambda Delta, the freshman women’s scholastic honorary organization. Since graduation, she has helped plan class reunions, acquired gifts to the university, encouraged promising students to consider Willamette, and participated in Willamette’s career network.

McNamara has served on the Willamette University Board of Trustees since 1975. For many of those years she chaired the Campus Life (a.k.a. Student Affairs) Committee. She has served on two presidential search committees and numerous task forces and special panels. Her recent duties have included service as chair of the College of Liberal Arts Trustee Committee, co-chair of the Commission on Academic Excellence, and a member of the Trustee Working Group on Athletics. In 2007 McNamara was promoted to lifetime trustee status and honored as an alumna member of Phi Beta Kappa.

During her 20-year career with the Bonneville Power Administration, McNamara received the Administrator’s Award for Distinguished Service. She and her husband raised three children, mentored numerous “surrogate kids,” and are now enjoying their four granddaughters. In addition to family and career, she has been active in her community, on non-profit boards and in several church leadership roles.