Alumni Award of Excellence for 2004
Western Oregon’s 2004 Alumni Award of Excellence recipient, Lane Shetterly, ’77 B.S. Education, is the quintessential Renaissance man. He runs marathons, is an accomplished vocalist and pianist, enjoys classical literature, especially the poetry of 16th and 17th Century poet and clergyman, John Donne, and until recently, was a lawyer in his hometown of Dallas. Perhaps more important to the citizens of Oregon, Lane Shetterly is a public servant.
For seven years, Shetterly, was a Republican member of the Oregon House of Representatives, serving District 23, an area comprised mostly of rural Polk County. As a lifelong resident of Dallas, Shetterly knows this district and its people well.
While in the House, Shetterly distinguished himself as a legislator. Most recently he served as Speaker pro tem, chair of the House Revenue Committee, and as a member of the House Civil Judiciary Committee, which he had previously chaired.
This year, Shetterly resigned his position in the House of Representatives to become director of Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development. Although his new position has required him also to resign from his law practice of 23 years, he continues as chair of the Oregon Law Commission, a position he has held since 1998.
Shetterly speaks frequently to local and national audiences on public affairs. He has been a guest on National Public Radio and a speaker at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Neither the transition from his law practice nor the House of Representatives has been all that difficult, Shetterly says. “I’m enjoying this enough, I’m looking forward not back.” What he will miss, he says, are the relationships. “I practiced law for 23 years in a great firm with great clients in the town I grew up in.” And long hours and partisan politics notwithstanding, Shetterly’s Capitol assignment will be missed as well. “In that intense kind of environment, you forge some really good friendships,” he said.
Like so many other college graduates, Lane Shetterly’s professional life has ranged far beyond what he thought he was preparing for in the classroom. As a student at Western Oregon, he studied voice, piano, and music education. He taught choral music for one year at Gresham High School and planned to teach more, but an earlier than expected admission into the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College changed that. He earned his law degree from Lewis and Clark in 1981.
Shetterly has great memories of his experience at WOU (which he still fondly refers to as OCE), citing small classes and personal contact with professors who had such interest and expertise in their subjects. “It made my appreciation for music come alive; it opened up a whole new world to me. And to this day, it still has an impact on how I listen to music; how I play music.” Shetterly’s interest in literature was just as influenced by his WOU days. He recalls Ray Sewell, a professor of literature, in particular. “I had never read a play, not much poetry, but I now have a deep, abiding interest in both as literature,” Shetterly says.
Shetterly still makes his home in Dallas with wife Francine, a staff attorney for the Oregon Court of Appeals, and their two children, Joel, 14, and Lauren, 12. And he still makes time for music, whether it be performing with the Portland Opera Chorus in Carnegie Hall or playing and singing in Trinity Lutheran, his local Dallas church.
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