What does McCall's voice have to do with Linfield College?
Some know that in September 1974, the Linfield trustees offered Gov. McCall the Linfield presidency. This was after Gordon Bjork's tenure as president ended May 31, 1974, and during the time (Aug. 1, 1974 to 1975) Cornelius Siemens was the college's interim president.
A book about Linfield history says McCall "at times appeared to accept" the offer to be the college's president. But, the book says, in January 1975 Gov. McCall "declined the offer, consenting instead to election as a trustee."
Charles Walker was Linfield president starting in August 1975 and served to 1992.
Walker inherited a college in difficult financial straights. It could not afford to advertise, but McCall played a role in helping get Linfield's name before the public, including potential students, alumni and supporters.
In 1976, the United States celebrated its Bicentennial culminating Sunday, July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Walker asked American historian Stephen Dow Beckham, then a member of the Linfield faculty, if he would write a series of brief one or two sentences about historical events which happened in Oregon in 1776. He did so. Beckham also found photos to use with many of the historical briefs.
Then, Walker asked for help from journalist Floyd McKay, a Linfield graduate, trustee (1972-1978) and then news analyst at KGW-TV in Portland. (McKay was Linfield adjunct professor of communications, 1969-1974.) Could McKay ask McCall to be the "voice" and narrate the Oregon in 1776 historical briefs for use as free public service announcements to run on Oregon TV and radio stations?
McKay asked. McCall said "yes."
Each brief included a tag line indicating it was from Linfield College.
"The college distributed these public service announcements about historical happening in Oregon in 1776 on video tapes to Oregon TV stations and on audio tapes to Oregon radio stations. They were readily accepted and used. The fact everyone knew the narrator's voice was a definite plus. It didn't cost much to do all of this, but the return to Linfield was valuable," said Walker in May 2018.