Dr. Thomas A. Chambers establishes new endowed scholarship for aspiring teachers
Author: Graduate School of Education
Posted: June 23, 2015

This spring, Dr. Thomas A. Chambers made a gift to establish the Thomas A. Chambers Endowed Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers within the Graduate School of Education (GSE). Through a planned gift valued at more than $1.2 million, Chambers has also generously provided for the endowment’s future growth. Beginning in 2016, this scholarship will be available to students in the GSE graduate teacher preparation programs. Financial need and academic merit are a consideration, and preference will be given to students who started their undergraduate education at an Oregon community college.

A Portland native, Chambers graduated from David Douglas High School in ‘65. He then went to work in the US Bank of Oregon Work/College Program, and enrolled at what was then Portland State College. He spent three years at Portland State, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, before transferring to University of Oregon for his senior year, and graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1969.

Chambers attended graduate school at Harvard University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Graduate Prize Scholar. With a concentration in government, he received an A.M. degree in 1971. Deepening his commitment to education, he transferred to Harvard’s Graduate School of Education during 1971-72. In 1976 he received a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Oregon. Always interested in furthering his knowledge, he earned a second Master’s in English Composition in 1984 from California State University – San Bernardino.

After teaching political science, Chambers served terms as an Academic Dean at Riverside (CA) City Community College (1972-81) and Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA (1981-2004). He retired in December, 2004, as Professor Emeritus of Political Science and English, and returned to Portland in August, 2012.

About his scholarship gift to benefit PSU's Graduate School of Education students, Chambers said, “It has been my good fortune to work as a teacher in community colleges, but I recognize that every single level of teaching is vital to individual success and societal progress. I want to give back to the profession I love by endowing a scholarship that will help promising teachers prepare for rewarding careers in the classroom.”

Chambers dedicates this scholarship to his parents, John and Mary Chambers, and to his professors at Portland State, who modeled outstanding teaching.