Blue Mountain Community College Board Honors State Sen. Hansell


The Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education in a unanimous vote Wednesday, March 20, honored retiring state Sen. Bill Hansell.

The ceremony took place during the regular monthly BMCC board meeting held on the Pendleton campus.

Hansell has served Umatilla County, Senate District 29, which encompasses a large swath of Eastern Oregon, and BMCC’s service district.

State Sen. Bill Hansell, of Athena, center, and his wife, Margaret, left, listen March 20, 2024, as Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education President Bill Margraff reads a proclamation from the board honoring the senator for his career as a public servant. (Photo courtesy of BMCC)

“Bill Hansell is the standard when it comes to public service,” said Board President Bill Margraff. “From his days as a county commissioner, to Salem and all points in-between, Sen. Hansell has served Blue Mountain, its students, the communities and our region with an eye on what’s best for the people and what’s best for the region.”

Hansell was first elected as a Umatilla County commissioner in 1982 and served in that role through 2012, leaving to run for the Oregon Senate. He is not seeking a fourth term.

“Laced throughout his lifetime of service, Hansell has been active in his community and church as a 4-H leader, FFA supporter, a raucous supporter of all regional high school athletic teams but especially his beloved Athena-Weston Tigerscots,” in his hometown of Athena, according to a statement from Blue Mountain. “He was selected as Athena Citizen of the Year for his many areas of community service.”

Known around Salem and the halls of the Oregon statehouse as “Senator Duck,” Hansell is a graduate of the University of Oregon. He and his wife, Margaret, have been married 57 years, are proud to six grown children and 11 grandchildren.


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