Also in Ashland Library on June 12
The Rogue River Valley University Club was founded in 1910 and continues today. Ron Kramer will share the story of how the Club influenced the development of the Rogue Valley on Wednesday, June 5 at the Medford Library, 205 South Central Avenue, and Wednesday, June 12 at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard from 12 noon–1:00 p.m. at both locations.
The Rogue River Valley University Club was founded in 1910 at a time when Southern Oregon was experiencing an agricultural—and resulting population—boom, fueled by the Medford Commercial Club’s (predecessor of the Medford-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce) extensive promotion. Companion to the effort of the Commercial Club, the University Club was established as a gathering place for newly arriving college-educated men engaging in the burgeoning orchard industry. The Club's early membership included nationally significant figures, among them the engineer-in-charge of much of the construction of the Panama Canal, the future chairperson of Madison Square Garden and Paramount Pictures, and the co-founder of General Motors. Over the past century, the Club has grown into a prominent community institution whose flowering parallels the community's broad development and its membership has included the community's most accomplished and influential residents. The Rogue River Valley University Club history is both a chronicle of the Club's own development as well as the unfolding story of the Rogue River Valley.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Ron Kramer has had a life-long love affair with radio having worked for stations in Cleveland, Chicago, and the ABC Radio Network in Hollywood. He came to the Rogue Valley in 1974 to assume responsibility for Southern Oregon University’s small radio station, KSOR, which became Jefferson Public Radio, one of the nation’s premier regional radio networks, during his 38-year tenure as its executive director. With undergraduate degrees in communication and history from Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and a graduate degree in radio-TV-film from Northwestern University, he has always been interested in, and written about, historic topics. His 2009 book, Pioneer Mikes: A history of radio and television in Oregon, is widely considered the definitive work on that topic. In 2015, he wrote A Century of Fellowship, an extensive history of the Rogue River Valley University Club. He has contributed articles to the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon Encyclopedia and operates the online Western States Museum of Broadcasting at www.westmb.org.