M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

As we celebrate and honor the legacy of our benefactor, Jack Murdock, on what would have been his 103rd birthday, we are taking a moment to reflect on how his personality continues to vibrantly infuse the work of the Murdock Trust. You can read the first section of this reflection on our website here and the second section of this work here.

Part 3 – Investing in Community

As much as Jack valued individuals, he also recognized that the highest calling for a single person is to play a role in creating a strong, safe community for everyone. That individuals needed to be generous and invest their time and resources in the greater good because if individuals and families could flourish, the broader community would thrive benefiting us all. It was this value that led Jack and Howard Vollum to leave the radio shop in Portland, OR and enlist in the United States military during World War 2. It was this value that led Jack to create the Millicent Foundation while he was alive. And it was this value that led Jack to craft an estate that would set core principles but provide Trustees with the flexibility to adapt the Trust’s work to the evolving needs of the communities of the Pacific Northwest over time.

In a world where we may feel separated through our use of screens and digital devices more and more, the Trust works to identify opportunities to bring individuals together through a sense of community and a commitment to serve one another.

Natural Conservation

One of the great selling points about life in the Pacific Northwest is our proximity to nature. Leave your office and you can be hiking on a forested trail within minutes in most communities. Take a brief drive and you can find yourself deep in the mountains or dipping your toes in the ocean.

Jack was a natural outdoorsman and could often be found taking in the beauty and wonder of the Pacific Northwest region up close. But as much as he enjoyed taking time away to savor the great outdoors, Jack recognized that we all have a duty and a responsibility to preserve and protect Mother Nature.

In our work today, the Trust continues this mission through a variety of partnerships with conservation organizations. With over $33 million in grants awarded, the Trust has had the opportunity to help partner in purchasing land, preserving habitat and protecting wildlife with groups like Columbia Land Trust, Freshwater Trust, Prickly Pear Land Trust, Nature Conservancy, Henry’s Fork Foundation, Peregrine Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, Vital Ground Foundation and many others.

The tireless work of dedicated conservationists is helping ensure that the beauty of our region Jack loved so much will remain to connect and be enjoyed by generations to come.

Physical Fitness

When Jack was not hard at work at Tektronix, flying his plane or exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, you could often find him working on his physical health through various exercise and sporting pursuits. An avid skier and figure skater, Jack recognized the intrinsic value that exercise could provide to individuals and the overarching value that community hubs offered to the region.

While Jack’s influence can be most directly felt in some of the Trust’s investments in community recreation facilities around the Northwest, the countless community centers, aquatic centers and recreation centers that dot our landscape all speak to the values he held dear.

We have been fortunate to help bring Jack’s emphasis on youth development, community connection and fitness through numerous projects with groups like the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, summer camps, faith-based community groups and adventure, wilderness and outdoor education camps. These investments serve individuals and families today while strengthening communities for years to come.

Continuing a Legacy

These are just a few examples of how we can see Jack’s life brought forward into the 21st century. As a man, he was passionate about technological innovations that could serve the common good. He believed in investing in resources to help heal those who were sick. He valued the role the arts played in inspiring and educating all members of a community. He recognized that we all must play a role in delivering the human services required to uphold a strong community. He believed that a robust education was central to the success of an individual, a family and a community. Like so many others in his generation, Jack saw a need to step up and serve the community, to serve the common good

We remain grateful to the countless partners that have worked with the Trust over the last 45 years to help maintain the legacy of a great man. We look forward to serving and supporting the communities of the Pacific Northwest in Jack’s honor for decades to come as we seek to serve and support the educational, social, spiritual and cultural life of individuals and families like he planned.

Thanks, Jack, for investing in our future. Thanks for thinking ahead.

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