Celebrate amazing faculty and staff at OSU

The opinions expressed on this page are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent those of Oregon State University.

Luanne Lawrence is vice president of University Advancement

Luanne Lawrence, vice president of University Advancement. (photo: Jim Folts)

When I announced to family and friends four years ago that I would be leaving our home in Maine to come to Oregon State University, I received electronic, telephone and in-person high-fives. My academic friends on the east coast could cite the accomplishments of many OSU faculty. My athletics friends gave me the thumbs up for coming to a PAC-10 university. My family envied my new life in beautiful Oregon.

And when I arrived in Corvallis and got to know the top ranked faculty in areas like agriculture and forestry and conservation biology (yes, No. 1 ranked and no specific academic program in this area), I was both humbled and eager to figure out how to tell these stories far and wide. When I discovered the staff, who go so far out of their way to help students achieve their dreams, I was struck by their modesty in seeing that what they were doing was so far above and beyond. And, meeting the faculty and staff in our extension offices and experiment stations has made me a more mindful leader – understanding the diverse and pressing needs of Oregon through their work and their contributions to their communities.

I have never lost that sense of wonder and excitement. Every year as I travel through the state and see its changing landscapes, varied cultures and honest people, I am proud that I have become an Oregonian. When I am working at regional and national levels, I feel the respect that OSU has in the larger world. Working at OSU in a position where our Division of University Advancement tells the stories of the incredible people who work, teach, study and research here, has been an honor.

To further honor all of you who make meager resources and too many office hours work to the benefit of OSU, we have created LIFE@OSU, a new biweekly publication that will help us all know each other a little better and to connect in new and different ways. This publication will replace OSU This Week and will bring more stories that help us appreciate those around us. Sometimes we will introduce you to people in personal ways – talking about their unique lifestyles. Sometimes we will tell the story of careful research and end-results from the labor of addressing some of the state’s and nation’s most pressing questions. And sometimes we will introduce you to people with jobs that are fun, interesting and sometimes invisible to us, but that play incredible roles in our infrastructure. Produced through the Department of News and Communication Services, this new internal newsletter can also be found on the Web at: oregonstate.edu/lifeatosu.

We have reached so many milestones as a university – two national baseball championships; a record-breaking year for research funding; national rankings for academic programs and sustainability initiatives; faculty and staff receiving international awards. Now we hope that LIFE@OSU will celebrate the talent behind those achievements and that you will feel a stronger sense of Beaver pride by coming to know these individuals a little better.

Please take the time to send us comments on the new publication. Letters to the editor are welcomed at lifeatosu@oregonstate.edu, and we are eager to also create online dialogues about our stories at our Web site. But most of all, we hope that you will take time with each issue and that when you see the people we write about in person and on campus, tell them that you appreciate them and all that they do and join us in celebrating the amazing faculty and staff at OSU.

Luanne Lawrence is vice president of University Advancement for OSU.

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