Our Stories

“When I was at Willamette, I particularly appreciated the University’s commitment to developing the whole person. People were serious students, but they were also serious musicians, athletes, actresses, and debaters. Willamette’s recognition that serious learning can occur outside the class as well as inside it made for a rich and deep experience.  The well-rounded people with whom I interacted — faculty, staff, and classmates alike — provided good preparation for both work and life.”

Tobias Read ‘97
Politics major, economics minor
Nike kids footwear developer
Oregon State Representative and
Deputy Majority Whip

When the Shoe Fits

Tobias Read '97 doesn't have to wait for Homecoming or a reunion to gather with fellow alumni. He can see them every day at Nike, where they serve in a variety of positions, from account managers to corporate vice presidents.

Tobias, who majored in politics and minored in economics, is a footwear developer. He joined Nike in 2004, after earning an MBA with a Certificate in Environmental Management from the University of Washington. He's also an Oregon State Representative for District 27 in Beaverton, a position he was elected to in 2006. Although new to the legislature, he was tapped to be vice-chair of the Revenue Committee in 2007. He now chairs the House Committee on Sustainability and Economic Development and serves as Deputy Majority Whip.

Tobias was equally active and accomplished while at Willamette. He was a Lawrence Scholar, a varsity crew member, and an ASWU (Associated Students of Willamette University) senator. He also worked for two terms as an aide to former Oregon State Representative Bryan Johnston. In 1999 he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as an aide to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers during the Clinton Administration.