Growing up on a remote homestead outside Palmer, Alaska in the ‘60s, college didn’t cross Doug Hamilton’s mind. The realities of the short growing-season meant grueling days while the harsh winters made survival a full-time job.  

“I missed three months of school a year,” he recalls. But God intervened when Doug’s church offered to fund a term at WPU. 

“I had no idea where Warner Pacific was,” he explains. “But I figured they’d have running water, flush toilets, and clean towels.” So, two days later, he flew to Portland, where the fall semester was already underway. 

At Warner, Doug discovered his passion for reading and writing and decided to major in language arts. Additionally, he received a minor in speech and drama. He notes that he was initially too timid to voluntarily participate in speech and drama classes. He states: “However, I had exemplary teachers and colleagues that extended support and encouragement, and who guided me.” 

Speech and drama soon became Doug’s priorities, and he began traveling to churches in the Portland area to perform short, faith-based dramas during worship services. Doug, and a team of three student performers, would arrive early to the service to set up stage lighting, present the drama, and then answer questions about Warner Pacific.  

In addition, Doug was an active member of the community where he was the President of the Hiking Club for several years, with Dr. Warner Monroe serving as Faculty Advisor. Together they led walks and hikes (including a climb up Mount Hood) in the scenic forests in the Portland area. 

Doug Hamilton ’65 and his college sweetheart, Susan La Velle Hamilton ’68

During his time at Warner Pacific, Doug encountered an abundance of influential people who encouraged and believed in him until he learned to believe in himself. In no order, he spoke highly of Milo Chapman, Kenneth Crose, Ulrich Hardt, Dale Mark, Wilma Perry, and Tom Smith who contributed to his success and achievements.  

Faith played a pivotal role during his years at Warner. “I benefited from interactions with devout students and staff and the weekly chapel services which often featured speakers from around the world,” he says. Doug also taught Sunday school classes to college students at his home church, Woodstock.  

After graduating from Warner in 1965, Doug began his career in education by filling in for one of his own professors, Dale Mark, who was taking a sabbatical to earn his doctoral degree. Doug was employed to teach Dale’s speech and drama classes while he was away.  

In 1970, Doug felt a calling from God to begin a new chapter and transferred to Evergreen School District in Vancouver, WA. During his 38 years in Evergreen, he worked as a high school teacher, manager of the library program for the district, introduced instructional technologies into the classrooms, secured cable television for the district, assisted in designs for new schools, led staff development workshops, produced educational programming for television, and served in community relations. “I am deeply thankful for my challenging and fulfilling 43 years in the field of education,” he says.  

When reflecting on his college journey, Doug offers advice for current students: “This is a pivotal period in one’s life and career as you move from home and become your adult self. Be your best and strongest self. Seek to expand your academic and spiritual vision. Love one another as God loves you. Learn every day and give thanks always.”