CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University and the College of Business announced the first recipients for the inaugural Austin Entrepreneurship Program Entrepreneurs and Innovators Awards at a ceremony held Saturday at Reser Stadium.
The affair also honored the 80th anniversary of historic Weatherford Hall, home of the entrepreneurship program, which celebrated its own fifth anniversary and served as host for the awards function.
The six award winners include both alumni and faculty. They are:
• Ken (College of Engineering, ’53) and Joan Austin (honorary alumna), founders and owners of A-dec, a leading producer of dental systems and equipment;
• Kyle Doyel (College of Business and College of Engineering, ’80), founder and president of Kyzen Corp., leading manufacturers of aqueous cleaning systems for semiconductor and electronic capital equipment;
• Dick Fosbury (College of Engineering,’72) , innovator of the “Fosbury flop,” a high jumping technique that earned him a gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City;
• John Gardner, professor emeritus of physics at OSU, founder and president of ViewPlus Technologies, Inc., developers of raised-image (tactile) computer printing technology for sight-impaired users;
• Kaichang Li, associate professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering in the College of Forestry, who invented bonding agents for making formaldehyde-free plywood products.
LEED-certified Weatherford Hall was built in 1928 and is one of the most photographed buildings on the OSU campus.
“The education that occurs here has application not only to the truly entrepreneurial spirit, but also to the man or woman who will go out from here and build the next great enterprise from a terrific concept and unswerving dedication,” said OSU President Ed Ray.
Ilene Kleinsorge, dean of the College of Business and sponsor of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, said Weatherford is “more than just a building.”
“Five years ago, it became home to the Austin Entrepreneurship Program,” she pointed out. “Today, more than 1,000 OSU students have benefited from numerous opportunities to acquire entrepreneurial knowledge while immersed in a vigorous experiential living-and-learning environment.”
In presenting the awards, Austin Entrepreneurship Program director Christopher Klemm, said, “Through their innovations, inventions, physical feats and perseverance, the award recipients have demonstrated and held out to the rest of us a standard of excellence that may exceed our reach, but, as educators and entrepreneurs, we will never lose sight of that goal nor of the people we follow all the way there.”