Distinguished alumni honored


Hillary Currier

Dr. Allison Taylor Furey receives her Distinguished Alumni award at the Tiger Pride Assembly on April 28.

By Jamie Favot

As part of the grand finale of Tiger Pride Week, two more brilliant minds were inducted into the Distinguished Alumni of Tigard High School. Chet Bowers and Dr. Allison Taylor Furey were recognized for their powerful contributions to global society, as well as their sheer ability to strive for success and push themselves far beyond the bounds of average achievement.

On the morning before the assembly, the alumni and several other faces from past years at Tigard High were treated to a fine breakfast in the school library. For some it was a reunion; for others it was an opportunity to build new relationships. Barb Proctor is a former administrative member from Tigard High who commented on the annual recognition of alumni. “It’s not just about success, but it’s about how they’ve given back to the community,” Proctor said. “It’s the idea of showing how Tigard High School breeds success and how past graduates have been successful.”

Following the breakfast, Proctor led the visitors on a tour through the school, showcasing some of the various remodels and changes that had been made to the building over the years and demonstrating what is soon to come with the 2018 remodel. Later on, in between hectic trivia matches and raffles, the alumni were finally presented their plaques during the Tiger Pride assembly.

Chet Bowers is an author, educator, and environmentalist. After graduating from Tigard High in 1953, he attended the University of California, where he received a PhD in educational studies and social thought. Since 1974, he has written more than 20 books and over 100 articles on ecology and human culture. From 1962 to 2005, Bowers taught at several institutions, including Portland State University and the University of Oregon. He has also been invited to speak at more than 80 different universities. Sadly, Bowers is battling cancer, and could not attend the Distinguished Alumni event. Elizabeth Bowers was present at the assembly and accepted the award on her father’s behalf.

Dr. Allison Furey was an academic, hard-working student at Tigard High. “I don’t know where it came from, but it was always in me to do well,” Furey said. “I did not like to fail, and I did not like to do poorly.” Furey graduated from Tigard High in 1993. She studied biology at Graceland University in Iowa, then took medical school in Canada, at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, Furey and her husband volunteered for medical relief service in the island country. “When we came home, we were profoundly affected by the poverty and lack of care and infrastructure in Haiti,” Furey said. “We wanted to take a group of people from our own medical community to a hospital in Haiti, and try to keep going with this relief.” She and her husband co-founded Team Broken Earth, a charity organization with the central vision of providing medical care and healthcare services to the earthquake’s victims in Haiti. Their first mission team was sent to Haiti in July 2011. Since then, many have joined the organization, standing together to help those in need. Team Broken Earth is now extending their efforts to Bangladesh, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

Furey’s experiences in Haiti have been very beneficial to her. “Making life better for somebody else makes your life better. It is gratifying, both for the people who are receiving the help and the people who are providing,” she said.

Furey was given a warm welcome back to Tigard High, and she hopes her message can be understood by all students. “I never thought in 1993 that I would be a doctor living in another country, heading a charity, and being a mom of three kids all at the same time,” she said. “You have to be patient and driven for success. You have to have a focus and do the hard work that it takes in order to make it a reality… if you believe you can do something, and you put your mind to it, and put the work into it, you can achieve whatever you want.”

The tradition of recognizing special Tigard High graduates has lasted for four years now. In doing so, the school not only aims to acknowledge these unique individuals and their incredible feats, but to also serve as an inspiration for others to test their limits, and to go past what they thought was possible. Furey and Bowers are another great representation of the success that this school drives for, and they are an example of what could come in future generations of Tigard graduates. Although they have long been outside of the school’s walls, the essence of their characters live on in Tigard High.