For Release: October 20, 2008
Judith A. Johansen, J.D. was inaugurated as the 13th president of Marylhurst University at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 19. The ceremony began with the pageantry of a robed academic procession—a tradition dating back to medieval times—marching across Marylhurst's campus to St. Anne's Chapel. Delegates from peer institutions, academic associations, Marylhurst University faculty and honored guests marched in the procession.
Led by bag pipers, the procession entered the chapel at the direction of the chief marshal, Dr. Jan Dabrowski, chair of Marylhurst's university faculty council. Ruth A. Beyer, chair of the Marylhurst board of trustees welcomed students, faculty, staff and community members with opening remarks that set a celebratory tone. Bishop Kenneth D. Steiner, representing the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, gave the invocation that was followed by greetings from Governor Ted Kulongoski.
"From CEO of PacificCorp to the presidency of the Port of Portland and her service on some of the most important corporate and non-profit boards in Oregon, Judith Johansen—with a leadership style that combines warmth, discipline, collaboration and long hours—never falls short and always raises the game of everyone around her," Governor Kulongoski said.
The installation of Johansen as Marylhurst's 13th president was presided over by Dr. Nancy Wilgenbusch, president emerita, Marylhurst University (1984 – 2008). Johansen then delivered her inaugural address and presented her vision for Marylhurst in a message to the university community and friends of the school.
"I am proud to join the Marylhurst community and advance its mission to provide higher education that weaves ethics and integrity into each academic discipline," Johansen said. "I am committed to equipping our students with the intellectual tools they need for success in a rapidly changing world."
The ceremony closed with the singing of Marylhurst's alma mater and a benediction given by Father Rick Ganz, S.J. Guests then followed the recessional march to the inaugural reception where they enjoyed the music of 3 Leg Torso and joined in a toast given by Governor Kulongoski to honor Marylhurst's new president.
Judith A. Johansen, a respected Northwest business leader and long-time supporter of higher education, was named 13th president of Marylhurst University effective July 1, 2008.
Johansen's career as an attorney and as an energy industry executive led her to serve as CEO/Administrator for Bonneville Power Administration in the late 1990s and later as President and CEO of PacifiCorp, a six-state utility with more than 6,600 employees.
Prior to her appointment as Marylhurst University President in July 2008, Johansen served on the Lewis & Clark College Board of Trustees and was elected board chair in 2007.
As PacifiCorp CEO, Johansen was a strong supporter of the corporation's educational and community initiatives through the PacificCorp Foundation for Learning. During her tenure, the Foundation's endowment grew to $30 million.
Johansen's involvement in the Northwest includes active participation on many boards and committees. She currently serves as commission president for the Port of Portland; trustee for Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; and senior director for Oregon Business Council. She is a member of the board of directors for Schnitzer Steel, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Cascade Bancorp and Idacorp. She has also served on the board of directors of Scottish Power plc and the Portland branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
She earned her J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College and her B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University. Johansen has been published in the fields of environmental law, energy policy and technology.
Marylhurst University, located one mile south of Lake Oswego on Highway 43, offers professional certificates and degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies.