Keynote Speaker
Keynote speaker portrait of a man wearing a grey suit and a red tie with a muted background.
Michael G. Cowgill, JD

Michael G. Cowgill, JD, grew up on a family farm on Tennessee Road north of Lebanon and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1971. He graduated with a BS degree from Oregon State University in 1975 and with a JD degree from the University of Oregon Law School in 1978.

Cowgill has practiced law with Weatherford Thompson in Albany, Oregon for more than 45 years. Weatherford Thompson was founded in 1875 by J.K. Weatherford, Cowgill’s great-great-grandfather, who traveled over the Oregon Trail to the Willamette Valley in 1864 from Springfield, Missouri at the age of 14. Weatherford Thompson is the oldest law firm in Oregon with continuous family ownership, as a Weatherford family lineal descendant has always been employed as a lawyer and partner in the firm. Weatherford Hall at Oregon State University is named in honor of J.K. Weatherford.

Cowgill is a founding member of the COMP-Northwest Advisory Board and serves as its chair. He joined the WesternU Board of Trustees in October 2022. He also serves on the Trillium Family Services Foundation Board of Directors. He is past president of the Samaritan Albany General Hospital Foundation, the Oregon State University Alumni Association, the Albany Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Linn County.

Cowgill and his wife of 41 years, Cheryl, have raised three children, Scott, Brett and Lisa, and are the proud grandparents of Karis, Josiah, Eden, Titus and Marrin. Cheryl is a CPA employed by the Oregon State University Foundation.