CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University Foundation has presented its Lifetime Trustee Award to Milosh “Poppy” Popovich of Corvallis, who was honored at an awards banquet on Thursday, May 17.
The Lifetime Trustee Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership at the university and the OSU Foundation. Popovich, an emeritus vice president of administration who helped transform the OSU campus in the 1960s and 1970s, has volunteered extensively on behalf of the university, including serving more than 23 years on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees.
“Poppy has made so many tremendous contributions to Oregon State University and the Foundation—from guiding the growth of the campus to supporting students through scholarships and fellowships,” said Mark Kralj, chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees. “It is a great pleasure to be able to honor a man who has had such an incredible impact on the university.”
Popovich earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from OSU in 1939 and 1941. He had a 33-year career at OSU, starting in 1945 as a mechanical engineering professor. He chaired the mechanical engineering department from 1950-1954 and served as assistant dean of engineering from 1954-1959. He served as dean and then vice president of administration from 1959 to 1978. In this capacity, Popovich oversaw more than 40 new construction projects, including eight residence halls, Peavy Hall, Wilkinson Hall, Weniger Hall and the Kerr Administration Building among many others. Even after retirement, Popovich continued to contribute his expertise by guiding the construction of the LaSells Stewart Center and the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.
In addition to his service on the OSU Foundation Board, Popovich is a past member of the OSU Alumni Association Board and a current member of the OSU Trysting Tree Golf Club Committee. He has been a strong supporter of OSU students and established a presidential scholarship and a graduate fellowship in mechanical engineering. Popovich has received several awards for his distinguished career and service, including the Dan Poling Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003 and the Oregon Stater Engineering Hall of Fame Award in 1998. Popovich and his wife, Jeanne, live in Corvallis. They have one grown daughter: Judith Aikin.
The OSU Foundation is the nonprofit organization chartered to raise and administer private funds in support of OSU education, research and outreach. The foundation has assets of more than $500 million; OSU has an endowment of more than $380 million.