May 13, 2021 – We’re pleased to announce that Denyse McGriff is the newly elected President of the Board of Directors of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center. Denyse was appointed to the board in 2007 and has been a long-time supporter who has served on our committees in fundraising, exhibits/collections, and advocacy. Denyse is also one of our tour docents who leads our Oregon City walking tours.

Denyse’s long-term commitment to volunteer for our organization started when she met  Cathy Galbraith, our organization’s founding Executive Director, at the Historic Preservation League of Oregon (HPLO) conference in Baker City in 1982. Over the years she has participated in many ways with our organization: as auction greeter, committee member, exhibit worker, warehouse mover, tour guide, artifact cleaner, and board member.

Saving and helping to rehabilitate historic places has been a lifelong avocation. Denyse lives in a historic 1912 bungalow in Oregon City. She completed her graduate work at the University of Oregon in political science and urban and regional planning. She worked for various local governments specializing in historic preservation, economic development, and land use planning.

Denyse believes in giving back by serving on her neighborhood association board, the Oregon City Planning Commission, and now as City Commissioner on the Oregon City Commission. 

Denyse’s community involvement and activism extends to other causes she champions such as:

  • Rose Farm Management Committee/McLoughlin Memorial Association
  • Canby Historical Society
  • Mark Prairie Historical Society
  • Deschutes County Historical Society
  • Friends of the Buena Vista Clubhouse in Oregon City
  • Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)

Some of the projects she has worked on include helping maintain the William L. Holmes house, researching the Buena Vista Clubhouse for a National Register nomination (approved in 2020!); advocating for the preservation of the Willamette Falls Locks and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum; and performing neighborhood and citywide cleanups.

Denyse brings an awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion to all her volunteer work. She believes everyone‘s stories need to be told and everyone deserves a place at the table. Denyse is proud that our organization is leading efforts to telling the stories of underrepresented members of our community throughout all of our work.

“We must work together to bring preservation and its tools to more places and people in Oregon. Our cultural heritage is for the benefit of everyone not just buildings,” says McGriff. “There are so many stories to be told about the places that matter. These stories need to be told to give us a true sense of our history.”