CORVALLIS, Ore. – Robert Lundeen, the retired chairman of Dow Chemical, has pledged $3 million to support an array of programs at Oregon State University, a gift which reflects his lifelong pursuit of learning that began with his OSU education.
Lundeen’s donation will fund science and engineering scholarships, create faculty development awards for OSU scientists and librarians, and provide additional resources to the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences and to the College of Science.
“I owe a lot to Oregon State, and I now have the opportunity to give back,” said Lundeen, a 1942 OSU chemical engineering graduate. “I feel very strongly that there’s no better investment than making sure well-qualified young people have the opportunity to go to an excellent university. Since these young people will be the leaders of the future, an investment in them now will help assure a better future.”
In addition to providing scholarships for individual students, Lundeen wanted to help strengthen the university as a whole, benefiting the entire student body.
“This gift will have an incredible effect since it supports several of OSU’s core programs and creates new opportunities for students,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “We are very fortunate to have someone like Bob Lundeen supporting the university. He is a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist as well as a living testament to what an OSU graduate can accomplish.”
Lundeen had a successful career with Dow Chemical starting as a research and development engineer in 1946 and rising to become executive vice president and then chairman of the board. After retiring from Dow in 1986, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Tektronix Corporation and is widely credited with initiating the resurgence of the electronics testing and instruments company.
Lundeen’s interest in engineering and science stem from the time he first took classes at OSU, but he developed a specific interest in atmospheric sciences when he worked as an Air Force weather forecaster during World War II. An avid sailor who now lives on Orcas Island in Washington, Lundeen also became concerned about the declining health of the world’s oceans, which led to his support of OSU’s ocean and marine biology research.
In addition, Lundeen has worked to improve OSU’s library since the 1980s when he and his late wife, Betty, served as co-chairs of the campaign to renovate the old structure into the acclaimed Valley Library. He has also served on the university’s volunteer boards for science and engineering as well as on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees.
The OSU Foundation is the nonprofit organization chartered to raise and administer private funds in support of Oregon State University education, research and outreach. The foundation has assets of more than $500 million; OSU has an endowment of more than $380 million.