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Women are more than a part of history – they're a part of our history. And we wouldn’t exist without them. We were born out of an idea from the Oregon Retired Teacher’s Association: to build a retirement home for teachers. And on May 18, 1960, the papers were signed, the construction began, and that idea turned into reality: Terwilliger Plaza. That’s why lifelong learning is a part of who we are, what we do, and why our members love being here.
As soon as Terwilliger Plaza was up and running, Lesta Hoel became the first President of the Board – and one of the first women to invest in an apartment. Her money, deposited in the first bank account, was used for stamps and office supplies. And it was this initial one hundred dollars and Lesta's decades of work that helped turn the dream of a downtown retirement community into a reality.
As one of only a handful of self-governed communities in the nation, Terwilliger Plaza has always been about Living Forward. Our members help make decisions that shape our community. And our city is certified as age-friendly, which means our community is a part of a larger community that values and celebrates older adults. Living Forward isn’t only possible within our walls – it’s encouraged outside of them, too. And we’re thrilled to be a part of that. It’s independence. It’s innovation. And from lifelong learning to wellness, going green to self governance, we’re proud of our story and excited about our future. Won’t you join us?