Alta Marie Stapleton had a life-long love with Oregon’s flora. So much so that in the late 1960’s she planted one of the area’s most beautiful gardens at their southeast Gresham home.
Alta’s Garden, as it was soon called, was praised both locally and nationally for featuring an elaborate display of flowers, plants and trees native to our state. Her love for her yard was more than planting and growing, it was also a learning laboratory where visitors could learn not only the common names for her displays, but their scientific names as well.
That’s what caught the eye of Mt. Hood Community College instructors who soon used Alta’s Garden as a living laboratory where students would go to visit and learn. What our students and instructors didn’t know at that time was just how much their visits had touched the heart of Alta Stapleton.
Alta passed away in 2014. Her husband Dean had passed away years before. With their passing was the revelation of the couples plan to establish a legacy in support of students at MHCC. In their will, they left the college Foundation $300,000 to establish The Alta and Dean Stapleton Scholarship Fund for local high school students entering the college.
So despite Alta’s passing her dream continues, except in this case she and Dean’s gift is planting the seeds of support for our student’s success.
To learn more about establishing a bequest, call the MHCC Foundation at