The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1978. The organization started out small; without staff or budget, it was literally just a group of extremely dedicated people. In 1980 that group selected the first class of inductees. Membership drives, board recruitment and annual induction ceremonies followed, still with no paid staff or funding base. The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (OSHFM) gained strength and stature, in these early years, as a volunteer organization.
The OSHFM hired its first paid staff person in 1985. Exhibits were built through volunteer labor and donated materials. By 1990, the Hall of Fame was generating revenues of more than $100,000, with annual attendance of 5,000 visitors. Although small in scale, this was a successful beginning; and it marked the organization’s commitment to gradual growth based on thoughtful planning and fiscal conservatism.
A Strategic Planning Committee was formed in 1990. After careful investigation and wide-range discussion, the committee concluded that increased visibility was the most important variable in the long term health of the organization. By becoming more visible and accessible, the OSHFM would better fulfill its education mission, while building a greater financial base which to continually improve programs and other visitor services. On the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Board of Directors approved relocation and expansion as the most important and immediate goal for the OSHFM in that same year.