Willamette alumnus named leader of independent colleges alliance

by University Communications,

Ron Saxton '76 will lead the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities.

One of Oregon’s most respected business, civic and educational leaders, Ron Saxton was named the new president of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (The Alliance). He succeeds Larry Large, who previously served as interim president of Willamette in 2010. Large is retiring at the end of December.

“Ron Saxton has a long and distinguished legal and business career,” said The Alliance Search Committee Chair Lesley Hallick, president of Pacific University. “His dedication and commitment to educational issues and public service make Ron an ideal leader for Oregon’s private colleges and universities.”

Saxton co-founded the Ater Wynne law firm in Portland and served as its chair. He is currently a partner and senior advisor at Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt, where he will continue his association while assuming The Alliance leadership. Previously he was a member of the leadership team an JELD-WEN, including roles as executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

The founding president of Portland Schools Foundation, Saxton has played a major role in education leadership across the region. He was a member and chair of the Portland Public School Board and served as chair of the education committee of the Oregon Business Council.

Additionally he has served on the boards of Association of Oregon Industries, Portland Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Former Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Saxton to the Oregon Education Investment Board.

In 2006 he was the Republican nominee for governor of Oregon. Saxton hold a bachelor’s degree from Willamette and a law degree from the University of Virginia.