Fowler Honored as ‘Oregon History Maker’

Peggy Fowler

One of George Fox University’s most distinguished graduates, Peggy (Stands) Fowler (G73), will be permanently remembered in Oregon history. 

In a Portland ceremony scheduled for Oct. 4, she will receive one of four Oregon History Makers Medals awarded by the Oregon Historical Society. The recognition program, started six years ago, honors individuals and organizations that have positively shaped the history, culture and landscape of Oregon.

“I’m honored,” Fowler says, “I’m glad I made a difference.” Also being inducted are Ann Curry, who has spent 25 years as a news anchor and reporter at NBC News; George Puentes, co-founder of Don Pancho Authentic Mexican Foods, now one of the largest Latino-owned businesses in the Pacific Northwest; and the Les Schwab Tire Centers, an iconic Oregon business founded in 1952 that now boasts 450 stores across the West.

Fowler began her career with Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest utility, just one year after graduating from George Fox with degrees in chemistry and mathematics. “Her skills and intelligence propelled her up the corporate management ladder, and she would eventually serve as PGE’s CEO from 2000 to 2009,” the historical society noted. “Widely regarded as one of Oregon’s most admired executives, Fowler continues to serve as a mentor for other women seeking to reach the top rungs of the corporate ladder.”

Credited with being a “glass ceiling breaker,” Fowler continues to help other women do the same, remaining involved with the International Women’s Forum and also mentoring female leaders through private conversations and relationships. 

In 2005, the Portland Business Journal named Fowler the Most Admired CEO in Oregon. Honors continued in 2007 when she was named Portland’s First Citizen, an annual program of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors. 

She stepped down as president and CEO of PGE after 35 years with the company. After her retirement she joined the company’s board of directors and remained in that position until 2012. Now she continues her connection as a member of the board of the PGE Foundation. 

A member of the George Fox Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2006, Fowler currently chairs the board of Umpqua Bank and also serves on the boards of Cambia, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Hawaiian Electric Industries. In what free time she has, she and her husband, Robert, like to ski and spend time at their second home in Central Oregon.