CORVALLIS - Rebecca Cole, president and CEO of the Oregon State University Foundation for the past three years, has announced her resignation to pursue consulting opportunities and travel, and to spend time with her family.

Her resignation is effective Jan. 15, 2002.

"I've really enjoyed getting to know the people, history and traditions of a wonderful university," Cole said. "And while I'm proud to have served as the CEO of the foundation, I've learned that my real passion for this business is to serve in a fund-raising capacity more than as an administrator. I'm happiest when I'm working with people who want to make a difference through their private giving." During her tenure, Cole helped create an effective new fund-raising and investment organization with offices in Corvallis and Portland, said Orcilia Zuniga-Forbes, OSU's vice president for advancement, who serves as the university's liaison to the private foundation.

"Becky Cole played a major role in helping to organize brand new foundation and launch a critical campaign to support the College of Engineering's goal to become one of the top 25 such programs in the country," Zuniga-Forbes said.

The multi-year, $130 million engineering campaign already has resulted in gifts and pledges in excess of $55 million, including a gift of $20 million from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. It was the second largest gift in the history of OSU and the OSU Foundation.

Tom Usher, chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Governors, has appointed a search committee to begin looking for Cole's successor.

"During her tenure, Becky Cole was instrumental in creating a brand new type of foundation that is organized, flexible and highly effective," Usher said. "Because of that, I have the utmost confidence that we will be able to attractive a dynamic new leader to carry on the important work of the foundation."