To understand Portland State, you should know this: It was built by and for soldiers returning from war. They were our first students and teachers, and 75 years later, they remain an important part of the University.
To mark the 75th anniversary of Portland State in 2021, PSU Magazine asked six alumni and faculty veterans to share their experiences for the University’s oral history project and have their portraits taken by award-winning photographer Jim Lommasson ’72. The article "Once a Warrior" appears in the Fall 2021 issue of PSU Magazine.
The veterans' interviews are collected here. We hope their stories provide new perspectives on our shared history.
Jose E. Coll
Dr. Jose Coll describes his journey from arriving in the United States as a Cuban immigrant as a child to becoming a U.S. Marine, and how he turned his career in service to academia with a focus on training veterans' counselors.
Paul J. De Muniz
Retired Oregon Supreme Court justice Paul De Muniz relates some of his experiences in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and the influences that being in the military had on the decisions he would later make in his education, career, and connections with others.
Dr. G.L.A. Harris, a U.S. Air Force veteran and distinguished scholar, discusses how her research and advocacy contributed to the founding of the Veterans' Resource Center at Portland State University and influenced federal legislation supporting resources for student veterans nationwide.
Bill Lemman shares his recollections of Vanport Extension Center and its community of students and faculty, many of whom, like himself, had served in the military during WWII. He recalls highlights of his 41-year career in higher education and Portland State's evolution as an urban university serving a diverse student population.
Richard Pimentel, who served in the Army in Vietnam during 1968-69, describes the support he received as a disabled veteran to become a student at Portland State University, the social environment at the university during and after the Vietnam war, and his work as a PSU student that led to his career in employment training and advocacy for people with disabilities.
Marine Corps veteran India Wynne, MSW, relates experiences during military service and at Portland State that led to their academic achievements and work supporting student veterans and veterans with disabilities.