Robert W. Chandler Society
Robert “Bob” Chandler was a man of conscience, a man who cared deeply about his community. His intelligence, integrity and high standards were legendary. As the owner and editor of The Bulletin, the region’s largest and most comprehensive newspaper, Bob dedicated himself for 40 years to bringing excellence to Bend and all of Central Oregon. He also contributed to the area in many other ways through a strong belief in philanthropy and volunteerism.
It was because of Bob’s reputation as a philanthropist and a leading voice in the community that The High Desert Museum’s founder, Donald M. Kerr, approached him to be one of the initial donors to making the Museum a reality. At first Bob dismissed Don’s request, calling Don a dreamer and predicting that he would never succeed with this concept. But soon Bob became enchanted with Don’s vision and he made an initial financial investment in the fledgling institution.
Bob’s early generosity was truly instrumental in the founding of our institution. He went on to lead the Museum in many ways including continued financial support as well as chairing the board of trustees from 1989-1990. At the time of his death on July 12, 1996, Bob made a final and enduring statement about the importance of The High Desert Museum by providing for the Museum in his estate plans. This was the first planned gift ever received by the Museum. The fund that Bob created to benefit the Museum furnishes important perpetual support and, thereby, helps to insure our future.
One of Bob’s driving beliefs was that one owes a debt to the community that should be repaid by giving time or money, or both if possible. Bob always made such giving a priority and set a shining example for others to follow. For many years he was the Museum’s largest individual donor, contributing to exhibits, publications and education programs as well as to capital campaigns. Would you expect anything less from a man who cared so deeply?
It is for these reasons that we have chosen Robert W. Chandler’s name for the society by which we will recognize and honor those who provide for the Museum through planned gifts. The Robert W. Chandler Society will honor those people who make provisions for the Museum through wills, trusts, or a variety of other estate planning techniques. Recognition will include listing Chandler Society members’ names (with permission) in Museum publications and other appropriate materials. Such meaningful donations not only help insure the Museum’s future, they also allow donors to achieve personal philanthropic and financial goals.
For information about how to become a member of the Robert W. Chandler Society, please contact Heather Vihstadt, director of philanthropy, at 541-382-4754 ext. 248 or contact us.