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Panel recommends naming new Bend High School building for Medal of Honor recipient Bob Maxwell

Update: (Adding video)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- At Tuesday night's Bend-La Pine School Board meeting, a committee proposed that Bend Senior High School's new multi-purpose building be named for Medal of Honor recipient Robert D. Maxwell.

The committee, which is comprised of administrators, students, and community members, unanimously agreed on the naming proposal before presenting it to the board.

Maxwell, a Bend resident who passed away two years ago Tuesday at the age of 98, was the oldest Living Medal of Honor recipient in the nation at the time of his death.

Many residents had signed a petition to name the new high school in southeast Bend in Maxwell's honor, but the board at the time declined to do so, citing as one factor not naming a school for someone until at least five years after their death. Instead, it was named Caldera High School.

Naming committee members say they weighed the strengths and weaknesses of several names, and Maxwell's stood above the rest when it came to contributions and connections to the school.

Bend High Principal Chris Reese says he had the honor and privilege of meeting Maxwell -- who years ago taught automotive tech at the school, later receiving an honor diploma -- and he was a man "second to none."

The school board is set to vote on the official name in June.

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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.



  1. When will we do something about the bridge named for Rex Barber? He is a shining example of Anti-Asian hate that runs rampant through Central Oregon!

    1. Asian Hate? Well if you count having a little animus towards Admiral Yamamoto before he shot him down over the Pacific, maybe. I’m going to give him a pass though because some of Yamamoto’s people might have done something to a little place called Pearl Harbor, just saying!

  2. First hats off and appreciation to Robert Maxwell, certainly a man deserving honor and respect for his contributions to our community and country. I personally like the fact that our schools are not named after people (like in several other cities where the meaning gets lost) but rather often about the beauty of the natural area that draws us here. I think a higher honor would be to plant an honor grove of ponderosa or other long living trees named after those men and women of the town whom we would like to honor. A sign naming the tree and describing their contributions would give a better memorial than scuffed up school hallways. It would be an area that continues to give back to the community, be peaceful, awe inspiring ultimately, and rejuvenating. I do not want to see our schools names changed to people in general in part because I think Mr. Maxwell deserves even better.

  3. What a wonderful and great idea!! As a 51 year Central Oregon resident and Bend High Alumni, I say go for it. Bob was one of the most humble men I ever met. A true CENTRAL OREGON HERO! I would vote for it in a heartbeat.

  4. I thoroughly applaud the idea of naming the high school after Mr. Maxwell. He was a member of the Greatest Generation. Men and women from that era took pride in being Americans. My father was a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps and my uncle was a medic on the USS Napa. Such men, if we were blessed enough to have them still alive today, would be disgusted by the divisiveness that exists in this day and age. Our society needs heroes and role models of that ilk now.

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