Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University

Table of Contents

Biographical Information and Early Education; Choosing Medicine; Residency and Research; Years at NIH; In the Nixon Administration; Lessons on Leadership; Becoming Dean at Downstate; Coming to Oregon; Funding; President’s House; Howard Vollum; Building the Vollum Institute; Campus Architecture; Difficulties at OHSU; Recruiting Ed Herbert; Development of the BICC; Funding the CROET; Information Technology; Agent For Change; OHSU Board of Directors; Returning to the East Coast; University of Massachusetts; Ruth Ann Laster on Being a President’s Wife; Index


Leonard Laster, M.D., talks about his education, research career, and experience in the Nixon administration. He also talks about becoming the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center President and overseeing the development and construction of the Vollum Institute. Ruth Ann Laster, Leonard's wife, Ruth Ann Laster, discusses her experience as being a university president's wife. Leonard was born in New York City in 1928. He matriculated at Harvard University at the age of 15 and earned an M.D. in 1950. Laster was a researcher at the National Institutes of Health before becoming a special advisor to the Nixon Administration. He served as Dean of the College of Medicine at Downstate Medical Center from 1974-1978. He became President of the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in 1978 and oversaw the development and construction of the Vollum Institute. He left Oregon Health Sciences University in 1987 for a position as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts. Ruth Ann Laster studied art history in college. She later served as an adjunct professor at Portland State University.


Transcript of oral history interview with Leonard Laster, M.D., and Ruth Ann Laster, conducted on March 5, 1999 by Joan Ash


OHSU Oral History Project




School of Medicine


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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