CORVALLIS, Ore. – The late Nat Giustina was well-known for his work in forestry, his love of golf and his commitment to his alma mater, Oregon State University. As his health started to fail, he asked his family to make a gift after his death to OSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.
His wife, Jacqueline, and his children recently honored his request by donating $4 million to Oregon State to establish two endowed professorships, one in forest management and another in turf management. The decision involved the entire family, said son Larry Giustina, a 1971 OSU graduate.
“My father had always been supportive of Oregon State, and he really wanted to be a part of the campaign,” he said. “The family came together, and we decided to direct the gift to two areas he loved.”
Nat Giustina, who died in August 2005, helped grow his family-based forest products and timber business in the Eugene area. An avid golfer, Giustina also created the Tokatee Golf Club in the McKenzie River Valley. A 1941 OSU graduate, Nat Giustina was very involved with Oregon State, including spearheading the effort to create the Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, the proceeds of which benefit OSU.
“Nat Giustina truly made a mark on OSU, and his family carries on his legacy of civic duty and pride in their university,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “I am confident that he would have loved to see the impact these professorships will have not only on OSU, but also on nation’s forests and golf courses—landscapes that are such a big part of our economy, beauty and environmental heritage.”
Approximately $3 million of the gift will establish the N.B. and Jacqueline Giustina Professorship in Forest Management. The endowed position will help fund a top faculty member and provide significant resources for associated research, education and outreach activities.
“The Giustinas have been tremendous patrons of the university for decades,” said Hal Salwasser, College of Forestry dean. “This gift will help ensure that the college can continue its leadership in sustainable forest management and the related fields of water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat.”
Another $1 million will establish the N.B. and Jacqueline Giustina Professorship in Turf Management. The endowed position is designed to attract a faculty member who can build on the work of Tom Cook, the director of OSU’s turf program. The gift is also part of an ongoing effort to expand the program which has produced superintendents of some of the best golf courses in the nation. See associated press release “New $1 Million Professorship to Grow OSU’s Turf Program.”
“The Giustina professorship will really position the turf program for great success,” said Thayne Dutson, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Nat Giustina was instrumental in creating a connection with the Turf Management program and Trysting Tree Golf Club. The result has been beneficial for both the program and Trysting Tree. It’s certainly fitting that a gift that honors Nat, whose love of the sport is legendary, will educate innovative golf course superintendents for generations to come.”
The Giustina family has a long history of active involvement and support for Oregon State, noted Mike Goodwin, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. Nat Giustina served 25 years on the foundation’s board of trustees and chaired the board from 1979 to 1981. His son, Larry Giustina, is a current foundation board member.
“The Giustinas are a great OSU family who place a high value on service, and they have passed that value down from one generation to the next,” said Goodwin. “We are very fortunate to have their leadership and support at OSU and at the foundation.”
The Giustina gift is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. 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 $392 million has been committed to date. More than 20 new endowed faculty positions have been established since the start of the campaign.
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.