The business empire amassed by Carolyn S. Chambers includes real estate, a construction company, vineyards, and the crown jewel, Chambers Communications Corp.
Carolyn's entrepreneurial spirit blossomed soon after she graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Oregon's business school in 1953. Seeing the need for a second television station in the Eugene-Springfield area, she borrowed $100,000 from her father, pooled that with funds from other investors, and applied for an FCC license. Her request was granted and KEZI went on the air in 1960.
Her cable expertise was honed at Liberty Communications, which she started and where she was executive VP and treasurer until 1983, when it was sold to Denver-based Tele-Communications, Inc. She later parlayed that knowledge into three television stations, five cable companies, a state-of-the-art commercial mailing center, a production facility, and an Internet company.
In 1981 Carolyn was invited to join the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's board of directors and was Deputy Chairman from 1988 to 1991. She was one of fifteen members of the U.S. Bancorp board of directors. She has received many recognitions and awards, including the Vanguard Award for Leadership from the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), and the Eugene First Citizen Award from the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.
Carolyn was a former member of the University of Oregon Foundation board of trustees, and she served on the Oregon State Board of Higher Education 2010 Advisory Panel, the board of Sacred Heart Hospital, the C-Span board of directors, the National Cable Television Association board of directors, and the Portland General board of directors.
The Lundquist College of Business benefited from her generous support and her tireless work on the school's Board of Advisors. Carolyn's lasting legacy includes a professorship that bears her name, her generous support for the construction of the Lillis Business Complex, and the key role she played in developing the Technology Entrepreneurship Program, a collaborative effort between the business and law schools, the UO office of Technology Transfer, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories.