Over the years, many of the presidents of Citizens Bank in Corvallis have served on the board of directors for Benton Community Foundation. Because of this close association, the foundation was an obvious choice for establishing a scholarship fund to benefit the children of Citizens Bank employees.
Citizens Bank of Corvallis, as it was originally known, opened for business on October 5, 1957, in a building on the corner of Second and Madison streets. In 1960, the bank was profitable enough to pay its first dividend, and has paid dividends each year since. It has grown along with the community, adding branch offices first on Kings Boulevard and Buchanan in 1962, then on Circle Boulevard in 1970. In 1974, the bank moved to Third and Jefferson Streets. Continued growth added several branches throughout the mid-valley.
Several of the founders of Citizens Bank were also among those who founded BCF: Percy Locey, Waldo Ball, and John Thomas. Dr. Waldo Ball was the bank’s first president. Alden Toevs became president and chief executive officer in July 1966, and Dr. Ball accepted the position as chairman of the board. In August of 1980, Robert C. Wilson presided over the search for a new president and CEO. Harris E. Rosendahl accepted the post in October 1980 and held that position until Ray L. Stephenson took the helm on April 1, 1988. Ray retired March 1, 1996, and William V. Humphreys was named president and CEO.