For Immediate Release

July 10, 2018

Lower Columbia College (LCC) and the Lower Columbia College Foundation are pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Lou Mace as the 2018 LCC Alumni of the Year.

Lou Mace graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1953 attended LCC from 1954 to 1955. While at LCC, Lou was a Track and Field star in pole vaulting. In 1954, he placed second at the WAACC championships at 12-3. In 1955, Lou set a Washington state junior college record of 12-9 ¼. That same year, he claimed the WAAC championship title. Lou continued his education at Oregon State University (OSU) where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering.

After graduating from OSU in 1959, Lou began working on hydro projects on the Columbia and Snake rivers. He went on to establish his own company, which was eventually purchased by S.J. Groves Construction. His career continued to skyrocket. Lou led some notable projects while working for S.J. Groves Construction such as the I-205 bridge connecting Washington and Oregon over the Columbia River, the widening of I-84 in Portland, and construction of five major dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. One of these dams included the $250 million second powerhouse at Bonneville, the largest contract ever awarded by the Corps of Engineers at that time. In 1983, Lou became President of S.J. Groves Construction and C.O.O. of S.J. Groves Inc., overseeing operations in South America, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. After resigning in 1986, Lou restarted his old company M.A.C.E. and constructed one additional dam in Visalia, California, as well as performing specialty contracts for the F.A.A. and U.S. Air Force.

Lou Mace
Jeanne and Lou Mace

Lou was inducted into the Oregon State Engineering Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2014, he was inducted into the LCC Hall of Fame honoring his athletic excellence in Track and Field.

Since fully retiring from active business in 1991, Lou and his wife Jeanne divide their time between California and Idaho. Lou remains active on a number of Disputes Review Boards and is a principle of the National Constructors Group, which performs constructability analysis for transportation departments in several states.

Lou Mace shares, “I consider myself very fortunate as well as lucky to achieve the success that I have enjoyed. A colleague of mine once told me that the definition of ‘luck’ is ‘when preparation meets opportunity.’ Lower Columbia was central in my preparation. Without the continued education and guidance received at LCC, I would not have been so fortunate and lucky.”

“We are proud to have Lou Mace represent LCC as its 2018 Alumna of the Year. He represents the concept of a local kid, who, through hard work and perseverance, made a big difference in the world. His life work also shows the value of a community college education,” — LCC President Chris Bailey.

Lou Mace will be honored at this year's LCC Foundation Horns & Halos Gala in September. For more information about LCC Alumni, or to join the LCC Alumni Association see Alumni Association.


For more information, please contact Kendra Sprague, (360) 442-2121 or

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News and Media Contact:

 Wendy Hall, Vice President, Effectiveness & College Relations, Lower Columbia College


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