CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has chosen Lenhart “Bud” Gienger of Bay City, Ore., for the prestigious 2009 Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award. He will be honored at an awards banquet in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Tuesday, March 3.
Chaves was a four-year letterman and captain of the 1942 Rose Bowl team. After graduation he became an influential booster in various fundraising activities and served as president of the Beaver Athletic Student Fund (BASF). The annual award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to OSU athletics.
Like Chaves, Gienger helped to make OSU athletic history. A wrestler, he was on varsity teams that won the Pacific Coast Conference championship for three consecutive years.
He graduated with a degree in agricultural business management in 1957 and went on to become president of Gienger Farms, one of the largest dairy farms in Tillamook.
Gienger and his wife, Helen, a 1957 OSU operations management graduate, have contributed to many OSU athletic programs and construction projects. Their gift of $1 million helped build the Truax Indoor Center.
“We are so grateful for the breadth and consistency of Bud’s support; in many ways, it’s like he never left OSU,” said Bob De Carolis, the university’s athletic director. “He regularly makes the journey back to campus to cheer on our teams, and he has been a volunteer with our BASF fund drive for many years.
“You can tell how much he cares about our student-athletes.”
Gienger served three years as president of the Tillamook County Creamery Association board and he is currently on the board of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. A longtime member of the Kiwanis Club, he is also active with children’s educational programs including SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) and the Lunch Buddy mentoring program.
The Giengers have three grown children: David Gienger, Peggy Lehman, and Laurie Chapman ’82. Their daughter Kathy Gienger ’85 passed away in 2007.