CORVALLIS - Loren D. McKinley, executive director emeritus of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and one of Oregon's best-known civic activists, has been named the 2001 recipient of the Dan W. Poling Alumni Service Award by the Oregon State University Alumni Association.
He will be honored Friday night at the alumni association's annual winter board meeting.
The award, named for a long-time dean of men at Oregon State, has been presented since 1989 to an Oregon Stater who has given exemplary volunteer service to the university of lasting significance. McKinley was born on Feb. 1, 1920, in Tillamook. While attending OSU, he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and worked as a reporter on the student newspaper, the Daily Barometer. He received his degree from OSU in education in 1942.
During WWII, he served with the 9th Infantry Division in the invasions of Africa, Sicily and Normandy. He was a medic with the 34th Field Artillery Battalion and was under the immediate command of a captain everyone called "Westy," but never to the young officer's face. "Westy," it turns out, was Gen. William C. Westmoreland, one of the leading military leaders in the U.S. since the Korean Conflict.
In the early 1950s McKinley was named Junior First Citizen of Oregon. From 1954-60, he was mayor of Tillamook. From 1960-78, he served as executive director of OMSI in Portland, and today holds the title of director emeritus.
He has served as president or board member for numerous groups, including St. Mary's Girl's School, the Leukemia Association of Oregon, the Arts and Crafts Society, the Papillon Society, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Portland Recreation Coalition, and the Columbia River Education Project.
An original organizer for the Association for Science and Technology Centers, he received the Elsie M. B. Naumberg Award as the outstanding science museum director in the United States (1968). He has been president of the League of Oregon Cities, and hold s a citation by the Oregon Academy of Science in recognition of outstanding service to the State of Oregon in the field of science.
Since 1984, McKinley has served as a special development representative for the OSU Foundation. Out of his Portland Center office, he has quietly raised millions of dollars for OSU. In recognition of his contributions to the university, the OSU Foundation in 1998 presented McKinley with its prestigious "Heart of Gold" Award, only the second one ever given.