Lewis & Clark’s Distinguished Alumnus: Brian Lindstrom ’84
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Lewis & Clark’s Distinguished Alumnus: Brian Lindstrom ’84


The first time I met Brian was back in the
days in which registration took place in a big group in the gym and there were lines
in front of tables and there wasn’t a lot of time to talk to people but when he came
up to me he said that he was very interested in taking as many media courses, particularly
ones in which you actually do practical work with a camera and I said “You came to the
right place.” First time I met Brian was at the information
desk at Templeton Center. He worked for us. He was just a very nice young man. I don’t know how to live a normal life. That’s why I’m here; to learn to live. Brian’s work has been incredibly committed: his whole life to hope and the idea of people
being able to find, from deep within their spirit and their soul, the ability to survive
and to thrive. I think among the achievements that Brian
has to be most proud are the moments where his films have made a mark beyond the theaters
or televisions on which they’ve been screened. Mothering Inside explored a program that was
very successful bringing women and their children together for bonding while the mother
was doing time in an Oregon prison. That program was jeopardized. That program was ultimately extended I think
in part because of the attention that his film brought. His ability to get the confidence of people
and to make them feel sure that he’s not going to exploit them: people whose stories he tells. He’s got an ability to be very genuine with the subjects of his documentaries. They know that he is going to treat their
stories with complete respect. If I were to describe Brian in one word, it
would probably be a toss-up between talented– I think Brian is incredibly talented–
and humanitarian. I’m gonna take some literary license and the word I’m gonna pick to describe Brian is “talented humanitarian.” Thoughtful because everything he’s done he’s
given a lot of thought to before doing it. He’s always been considerate of other people
and I don’t think he’d be where he is today if it weren’t for being just a very thoughtful
person. Brian’s work is important because of what
it can teach us and what it can show us about the world we live in and if it can give us
greater understanding of the less fortunate in life then it’s succeeding in ways that I
think he’s intending for it to do so. I had a feeling from fairly early on, I mean
I could really tell his passion for the work and his belief in the social good that can
come from making documentaries and so I’m really pleased about the way his career has unfolded. Brian, I think this is a well-deserved award. You’ve earned it. I’m very proud of you and very happy that
I’ve known you all these years. I’m so proud of you, man. I just couldn’t say anything more. Congratulations on this award. It is distinguished, you are distinguished. I am so proud of you. I wish I was there to share this time in this
moment with you. Congratulations Brian. You deserve all of the acclaim and honor that
you’re getting with this award tonight because you’ve been doing great work and making a
difference in the community, in the world. Keep on at it, man.

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