The legacy of Monmouth College’s most iconic family will be celebrated June 19 at a memorial service for Vivian Cook McMichael, who died last year at the age of 90 in Oregon.
The 1 p.m. service, which will also memorialize Vivian’s husband, Thomas Nash McMichael, will be held in the college’s historic Dahl Chapel, built in 1896 by Thomas’s great-grandfather, Jackson B. McMichael, second president of Monmouth College. The public is cordially invited.
Led by the Rev. Dr. Teri Ott, Monmouth College chaplain, the service will feature special music by Leo Ramer. Jeff Rankin, Monmouth College director of communications, will present a historical retrospective of the McMichael family’s extensive contributions to the college.
Jackson McMichael served 19 years as Monmouth’s president, succeeding founding president David Wallace in 1878. His son, Thomas H. McMichael, was Monmouth’s longest-serving president, with an administration spanning the years 1902-1936. Two of Monmouth College’s best known buildings—McMichael Academic Hall and McMichael Residence Hall, are named for the father and son, respectively.
Thomas’s son, David McMichael, was the college’s business manager from 1929 to 1953. It was through his efforts that the college secured a contract through the Navy to host a pre-flight school and an officer refreshing program during World War II.
David’s son, Thomas Nash McMichael, grew up in Monmouth and entered Monmouth College in 1940, where he met Vivian Cook. His education was interrupted by military service during World War II. After marrying Vivian in 1943, he returned to Monmouth College, where he served as swim coach and as assistant business manager under his father.
Thomas, who later served as mayor of Santa Ana, Calif., died in 2003. The couple’s children, Thomas Ray McMichael of Orange, Calif., Daniel Kent McMichael of Forest Grove, Ore., Mary Ann Whiteley of Forest Grove, Ore., and Terri Jean Mancuso of Sherwood, Ore., will all offer remembrances during the service.
A committal service for the ashes of Vivian and Thomas will follow the service in Monmouth Cemetery.