In Their Own Words: Interviews


Dick Withnell Interview

Streaming Media


Schmidt, Rich

Document Type

Video File


58 minutes 40 seconds

Publication Date



Oral History


Mr. Dick Withnell, Linfield class of 1964, is the founder of Withnell Motor Company in Salem, a philanthropist and an emeritus member of the Linfield Board of Trustees.

This interview takes place at Withnell Motor Company in Salem, conducted by Linfield archivist Rich Schmidt, on May 16, 2022.

In this interview, Mr. Withnell talks about his early life and how he found his way to Linfield. He tells of starting his automobile business and exceeding his expectations, watching it grow into a large and successful company. He also talks about some of his mentors, like Gerry Frank, who told him that he needed to start giving back to his community. From 25 years on the Linfield Board to contributing to Oregon Corrections Enterprises, Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA, CASA, the Kroc Center and many more, his philanthropy has touched many parts of the community. He talks about the meaning behind this and how he views charity, as well as some of the changes he's seen at Linfield and what the future might hold.