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May 18, 2009

Oregon Law Remembers Alumnus and Longtime Friend John Jaqua ’50

Oregon Law is remembering John E. Jaqua, 1950 alumnus and longtime friend to the law school, who passed away Thursday, May 14. Jaqua was 88.

Jaqua received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon in 1948 after serving as a pilot in World War II. He went on to pursue his law degree from Oregon Law. After graduation, Jaqua became a senior partner and founding member of the Eugene law firm of Jaqua & Wheatley, a well-known law insurance office. Jaqua was a former president of both the Oregon State Bar and Lane County Bar Association. He also was a founding member of the NIKE board of directors and served for many years as the board secretary.

Jaqua’s passionate commitment to giving back to his alma mater is described as “never-ending.” Since 1973, Jaqua has served on numerous university committees and boards, including the UO Foundation, Oregon Law, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, International Institute for Sport and Human Performance, the UO Athletic Hall of Fame selection committee, and as a member of the UO Board of Trustees. Jaqua chaired the law school’s fundraising efforts during The Oregon Campaign (1992-1998) that resulted in the construction of the William W. Knight Law Center.

Professor of Business Law Jim Mooney echoed the sentiments of the Oregon Law community, noting that Jaqua’s generosity and humor touched more individuals than he ever could have known.

“As others have said, John was a giant in the Oregon legal community, and especially in the life of our law school,” Professor Mooney stated. “He was someone whose company I enjoyed immensely — an intelligent, wise, witty, modest, and exceedingly generous human being. Literally thousands of us whom he touched in one way or another will miss him for a very long time.”

In addition to serving the university, Jaqua also gave his time generously to numerous community organizations in the Eugene area including the YMCA, Eugene Arts Commission, the Eugene School District 4 Lay Advisory Committee, the Coburg School Board, Marist Foundation, Lane Rehabilitation Center, and Lane County Heart Fund, among many others.

For his unparalleled contributions to education and the community, the university has recognized Jaqua throughout the years, awarding him with the Distinguished Service Award (2001), Presidential Medal (1999), the law school’s Meritorious Service Award (1992), and, most recently, Jaqua was the inaugural recipient and namesake of Oregon Law’s Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award (2007).

In addition to the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Jaqua also is the namesake for the law school’s John E. Jaqua Law Library and Eugene’s Jaqua Concert Hall at the Shedd Institute.

A celebration of life will take place at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at the Shedd Institute for the Arts, located at 868 High Street in Eugene. Arrangements are being provided by Musgrove Family Mortuary in Eugene. Remembrances to the Shedd Institute or The Relief Nursery.

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