CORVALLIS, Ore.—Oregon State University President Ed Ray announced today that the university has received $77 million in private and public commitments for a major science initiative aimed at advancing teaching and research in preventive health care, chemistry and the life sciences.
The funds will be used to construct the Linus Pauling Science Center, a state-of-the-art science facility, and to provide support for associated research and education programs, including faculty positions and student scholarships. Named for Linus Pauling, a 1922 OSU graduate and the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes, the center will house the nationally renowned Linus Pauling Institute and chemists from the College of Science. The center will also contain classroom and laboratory space for undergraduates, graduate students and researchers studying chemistry, biochemistry and the life sciences. Approximately 10,000 OSU students, more than half the student body, take chemistry courses each year.
Ray made the announcement at the Oct. 26 launch of The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first campus-wide fundraising campaign.
“This investment will have a transformational impact on the sciences at Oregon State University,” said Ray. “It will advance health care research, spur the development of new discoveries and programs that will bolster our economy, and help educate the next generation of scientists, who will define the future of health care.”
OSU has raised $31.25 million in private funds for construction of the Linus Pauling Science Center; those funds helped the university secure another $31.25 million in state bonds for the $62.5 million facility. Included in the private funding is a $20 million commitment from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation of Oakland, Calif. The Valley gift requires a $25 million match, toward which OSU has raised more than $24 million to date. Among other alumni and friends of the university, Al and Pat Reser of Beaverton, Ore. made a critical $10.65 million pledge to help meet the Valley challenge and qualify the project for state funding.
“We are very excited to support the Linus Pauling Science Center,” said Tammy Valley, president of the Valley Foundation. “A facility like this will attract top researchers and students and help find answers to some of our biggest challenges.” Valley is the daughter of Wayne and Gladys Valley, who both attended OSU in the 1930s. Wayne majored in business and played football, and Gladys later served as the first secretary in OSU’s College of Science.
Renowned for its work in orthomolecular medicine -- a field Linus Pauling pioneered -- the Linus Pauling Institute studies the optimum use of micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to promote health and prevent disease. It was one of the first two Centers for Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine designated by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Current research includes studies on aging, neurodegenerative disease, heart disease and cancer. The new Linus Pauling Science Center will bring all of the institute’s principal investigators into one facility for the first time, providing room for the institute to grow and promoting increased collaboration among OSU researchers, especially in chemistry and biochemistry.
Approximately 120,000 square feet, the new building will occupy the corner of Campus Way and 30th Street, next to existing science facilities. Like the Kelley Engineering Center, which opened in 2005, the Linus Pauling Science Center will create a nexus of faculty and students to bolster innovation, learning and discovery. The facility will allow researchers to win additional dollars from granting agencies, said Balz Frei, director of the Linus Pauling Institute.
“This extraordinary new center and additional financial support will enable our faculty and students to make groundbreaking advancements in disease prevention and healthy aging research,” said Frei. “It is a tremendous tribute to the legacy of Linus Pauling.”
Sherm Bloomer, dean of the College of Science, is equally enthusiastic about the new building. “Transformational advances in science come at the intersection of fields,” he said. “Bringing top OSU chemists together with Linus Pauling Institute investigators will create a powerful research program and provide exceptional opportunities for students.”
One of the most celebrated scientists of his time, Pauling received the 1954 Nobel Prize in chemistry following his groundbreaking work on the nature of chemical bonds among atoms and molecules. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 after many years of activism against nuclear weapons testing. Pauling is also well known for his popular writings on the health benefits of vitamin C. Born in Portland, Ore., Pauling earned his chemical engineering degree from OSU, where he also met his wife, Ava Helen. In 1986, Pauling decided that their combined papers would be housed at the university. The Linus Pauling Institute, which Pauling founded in 1973 in Menlo Park, Calif., has been at OSU since 1996.
Oregon State University officially launched “The Campaign for OSU” on Oct. 26. Guided by OSU’s strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen Oregon, and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $350 million has been committed to date—including more than $52 million toward a $100 million goal for scholarship and fellowship support for students.
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 retains assets of more than $570 million and manages the majority of OSU’s composite endowment, valued at more than $430 million, which supports Oregon State University and the people it serves.