Today would have been Jack Murdock’s 106th birthday. As co-founder of Tektronix, which has been called “the seed that grew the Silicon Forest,” and as benefactor of the Murdock Trust, Jack’s legacy continues to live on in multiple ways.
Though Jack’s impact through the Trust is always top of mind to our team, some of our staff recently had the opportunity to visit a museum dedicated to the early history of Tektronix. The VintageTek Museum in Beaverton, OR, is filled with working Tektronix products from the first fifty years of its operations. From the earliest models of oscilloscopes to computer display terminals to other applications in music, technology, and research, we saw hundreds of reminders of the impact of Jack’s life – as well as his co-founders and all who made Tektronix products. And as once the largest employer in Oregon with lasting regional economic impact, it’s no exaggeration to say that Jack Murdock’s work with Tektronix has changed the Pacific Northwest forever.
Yet the ripple effects of Jack’s life do not stop there. By directing the establishment of a Trust in the event of his death, Jack ensured that his profits from Tektronix would be put toward the common good. His desire to invest in “the field of figuring out how we humans can survive a little bit more constructively” is one that the Murdock Trust has sought to live out ever since.
As we have shared in recent updates, change is in the air at the Murdock Trust. We recently announced new sector categories and important leadership changes, and updates on our grantmaking process are coming soon. Despite these shifting sands, one thing will not change. The vision that Jack Murdock cast for how his legacy would be stewarded remains our guiding light. In fact, all this change could simply be described as us continuing to figure out how to serve our region a little bit more constructively, as Jack would have wanted. We are reminded of that especially on his birthday today.
Happy birthday, Jack!