Willamette University

Your Peers Are At it Again

Julie Branford ’67
Lestle J. Sparks Medallion

Human resources expert, Willamette trustee, quintessential Bearcat advocate

What’s the best change Willamette has made in the last 40 years?

Letting women wear slacks on campus and getting rid of the freshman beanies!

Seriously, the faculty/student research is a fabulous way to stretch CLA students and build capability worthy of entry into the best graduate schools. Richard Ellis does this when writing history books; science professors do it with some of their students on topics I can barely comprehend.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

A stewardess who flew on international flights. Unfortunately, I have always been too short to be qualified for the job.

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

You may not see in yourself what others may see in you; trust those who seem to have faith in you, not just your lifelong beliefs about your capabilities and limitations.

Have a guiding philosophy/quote?

A newspaper clipping that my mother tacked inside the kitchen cabinet where we’d get our cereal bowls and glasses, so we’d see it multiple times a day: “What counts is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” When you are a 5-foot female in a world of 6-foot men, you can’t think of yourself as diminutive in anything except your height.

Who’s one person at WU who really helped you out?

Right now, Wallace Long of the music department is helping to bring back to life the winning 1964 Freshman Glee song, “In Serenade,” for the fabulous class of 1967 reunion. He has agreed to have the WU Singers learn the song and record it, but in order to do that, he had to write the sheet music based on an old record — a record player was hard to find!

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Julie Branford ’67