Margaret Carter: Honoring a lifetime of service to Oregon

Margaret Carter’s distinguished career advocating for Oregon’s most vulnerable people earned her OSU’s 2010 Alumni Fellows award.

“It is my desire in life to make a difference for our children, our seniors, and the disabled,” says Margaret Carter EdM ’74, who received the 2010 OSU Alumni Fellows Award.

It’s a fitting life motto for her crusading work as a state representative and state senator, a 24-year political career spent advocating for Oregon’s most vulnerable, crafting legislation in education, social justice, civil rights, health reform, mental health parity, environmental protection, public school funding and consumer education.

She is the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon legislature, where she promoted a permanent Head Start program and the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps. In 2009, Margaret was named deputy director of the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Her distinguished public and professional careers have been highlighted with numerous awards and honors, yet she says that of all her accomplishments, she is most proud of raising her nine children. 

In nominating Margaret for this honor, Dean Tammy Bray said, “She has spent her life working tirelessly for our causes – children, families, aging adults, those with disabilities and at-risk children and families. She is a woman of unparalleled character, energy, and vision.”

“I am highly honored to be given such a prestigious award. It gives me a sense of pride as an alumna to still be thought of in such an honorable way. Go Beavs!”