Bob Moore to Receive Honorary Degree from NCNM May 12
National College of Natural Medicine will confer its highest academic honor upon natural foods pioneer and Oregon philanthropist Bob Moore in recognition of his steadfast advocacy of natural medicine and his enduring support to promote food as medicine at NCNM. Moore, the iconic founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at a special ceremony held at NCNM on Monday, May 12.
Because Moore is unable to attend NCNM’s commencement ceremony in June due to a longstanding prior commitment, the college is holding a special ceremony to honor him. The ceremony will be held from 1–2 p.m.in the Bill Mitchell Hall of the college’s Academic Building at 049 SW Porter St. in Portland.
“Bob Moore is a hero to the National College of Natural Medicine, plain and simple,” declared NCNM President David J. Schleich. “The Moore family legacy preserves and promotes the enduring importance and value of nutrition expertise in our medical and public educational programs. Bob is in NCNM’s court, helping us to expand and grow.”
Schleich added that the Moores understand the underlying philosophy of NCNM’s medical degree programs. “Bob and Charlee support our dedication to educating our students and the public at large that food is medicine—a fact long advocated by naturopathic physicians and other natural medicine practitioners.”
Since 2010, Moore and his wife Charlee have donated $1.6 million to NCNM beginning with the annual Bob’s Red Mill Integrative Scholarship Medicine Cup. In 2012, about $700,000 of the Moore gift was earmarked to help build NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute and Community Education Center, including its ultramodern Charlee’s Kitchen, a teaching and research kitchen used for the college’s medical and master’s programs, as well as its nutrition and community cooking classes.
The Moores’ funding has also sponsored NCNM’s Ending Childhood Obesity (ECO) Project, a 12-week free, community-based nutrition education and cooking program available to families in low-income areas of Portland. The series of workshops, taught by naturopathic physicians, has had 700 individuals and families complete the course.
The success of the ECO Project was the catalyst for NCNM’s new Food as Medicine Institute (FAMI), which opened in March 2014. FAMI offers nutrition education for healthcare practitioners, professionals and the public, including a variety of lectures and workshops, like its Food as Medicine Everyday series being taught in Charlee’s Kitchen and its annual Food as Medicine Symposium, presented in April. The Moores’ support has been essential to the success of FAMI and its programs.
Moore is celebrated throughout the U.S. for his popular Bob’s Red Mill brand—certified organic, nutrient-dense whole grains and gluten-free flours, and other natural foods—which he and Charlee founded in 1978 in an old red mill in Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland. A singular business success story—one marked by tragedy that ultimately ends in jubilation—Moore and his wife Charlee created a successful niche market in whole grains using old-fashioned millstones. Ten years after they started, as they were just getting known, their mill and offices burned to the ground. At the age of 59, Moore and his wife started over. They re-built their company, which was reported to have annual sales of $153 million in late 2013.
In 2010, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods made international headlines when Moore instituted an employee stock ownership plan, officially signing over ownership of his company to its 200 employees.
In addition to their strong financial support of NCNM, the Moores’ have also donated or pledged an additional $22 million to Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University for the advancement of nutrition education and research.