John R. Howard, who oversaw the growth of Lewis & Clark from a small, shaky college to a cutting-edge institution during two decades as its president, died Sunday at his home in Lake Oswego. He was 90 and had been retired from Lewis & Clark for 32 years.
He was 37 and relatively inexperienced at university administration when he was hired in 1960 to lead Lewis & Clark. The school had little in the way of facilities, and he concentrated on building its endowment, curriculum and buildings. He added a law school and launched a study-abroad program that remains a hallmark of Lewis & Clark's undergraduate experience.
"He was extremely instrumental in the college becoming what it is today and particularly in its becoming nationally known and respected," said Lewis & Clark President Barry Glassner.
Besides the study-abroad program, "he helped engineer and marshal through the addition of the Northwest School of Law, which is now Lewis & Clark Law School. It was a history-changing event for us and for the Portland legal community."