The Tom and Pat Gallagher Endowed Scholarship Fund assists sophomore students at Oregon State University who graduated from a Benton County high school. Tom and Pat place a high value on education. “Without the financial assistance I received at a crucial point in my life, Pat and I might not have had the opportunities we have enjoyed,” said Tom. The couple hopes the scholarship fund will improve educational opportunities for OSU students who possess the intellectual ability but not all of the financial resources required to succeed.
The Gallagher family has been in Oregon since the 1850s and in Corvallis since 1911. Thomas L. Gallagher Jr.’s paternal grandfather was James Gallagher, a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Corvallis. His parents, Thomas (“Lynn”) and Frances Gallagher, met while attending Oregon State College.
Tom and Pat met during their sophomore year at OSU. Pat lived in the Kappa Delta sorority house and Tom lived at home due to limited financial resources. Their usual Friday night dates occurred in the reading room at the OSU library. Pat graduated in 1965 with a B.S. in home economics. Tom received several small scholarships while at OSU and graduated at the top of his class in 1965 with a B.S. in general social science. The couple married on June 12, 1965, and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, so Tom could attend Harvard Law School. Harvard gave Tom a partial scholarship and loans to enable him to complete his legal education. Pat worked while Tom studied.
Tom has been in private practice in Corvallis since 1981, emphasizing real estate and business law. He became a member of the Rotary Club of Corvallis in 1985 and served as club president in 2000-01. Over the years, he has served on several boards of directors and advisory boards of local civic and governmental organizations, and he now serves on the board of directors of Corvallis Caring Place.