OSU Central Oregon celebrates grand opening


BEND - After months of preparation, OSU Central Oregon is opening its doors to the public.

The celebration, including an address by OSU President Paul Risser, will be Thursday, Sept. 23, beginning at 5 p.m., with the main program at 6 p.m., at the new OSU office on Empire Avenue and north Highway 97.

The event will also feature the opening of the Gifford Photograph exhibit, a collection providing a retrospective view of the work of four photographers over three generations spanning nearly 70 years.

As the keynote speaker for the event, Risser will describe how OSU Central Oregon is designed to meet the needs of the region. The OSU president envisions OSU as the land grant university for the 21st century, and has made treating the entire state of Oregon as the university's campus one of the university's three strategic goals.

In the last two years, this has led to a 60 percent increase in distance learning enrollments, more partnerships with community colleges, increased programming through the Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station, and more visible programs for alumni and athletics boosters across the state. At the event, Risser will make several announcements about new faculty and degree programs available to Central Oregonians. Risser and three county commissioners - representing Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties, all of which have OSU facilities - will cut the grand opening ribbon.

Members of the OSU Archive staff will be available throughout the evening to interpret the Gifford Photographs. The Gifford family made photographs professionally from 1888 until the mid-1950s. The collection contains original prints as well as modern prints made from the original glass and film negatives and color transparencies.

Other activities include a remote broadcast by the Beaver affiliate KXUX, photos with Benny the Beaver, and prizes for the most creative use of orange and black. The University Bookstore will be at the event selling OSU merchandise.

OSU Central Oregon also has offices in Redmond, Prineville, Madras, Powell Butte and Warm Springs. The program includes credit classes, degree programs, non-credit seminars and workshops, lectures and cultural events, Extension, alumni programs and athletic activities.