CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Foundation has chosen Keith McKennon to receive the Lifetime Trustee Award. He will be honored at the annual Destination OSU awards banquet in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Tuesday, March 3.
The foundation’s highest honor, the Lifetime Trustee Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service to the university and to the OSU Foundation.
McKennon, who has held top positions for the Dow Chemical Company, Dow Corning Corporation, and PacifiCorp, was a member of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees for eight years, serving both as president (1996-97) and chair (1997-98).
He and his wife, Pat, were one of three couples who chaired the $47 million expansion and renovation of OSU’s Valley Library, which was dedicated in 1999. McKennon also has served on the OSU President’s Board of Advisors and College of Science Board of Visitors, among other volunteer leadership roles.
“Keith was exceptionally devoted to the success of the library project, which made a lasting impact on OSU,” said Darald W. Callahan, chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees. “Aside from creating an award-winning library facility, that initiative marked a sea change in how OSU raises money and works with volunteers. Keith set a high professional standard for volunteer engagement that is still benefiting the university today.
“He always exhibited the kind of deep, strong enthusiasm that engages others and carries a project through the times when you wonder how it’s ever going to get done.”
After graduating from Oregon State in 1955, McKennon joined Dow as a chemist. His career with Dow spanned 39 years, including roles as president of Dow USA, executive vice president for technology for Dow Chemical Company, and chairman and chief executive officer of Dow Corning Corporation. He then became board chairman and CEO of PacifiCorp, and was vice-chairman of Scottish Power following its acquisition of PacifiCorp.
Named a College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Fellow in 1983, McKennon also was honored with the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. He received the Chemical Industry Society’s Gold Medal in 1992.
The McKennons reside in Portland, Ore., and Paradise Valley, Ariz. They have three adult sons: Kevin McKennon ’96, Marc McKennon and Brian McKennon.
McKennon joins other lifetime trustees: Joan D. Austin, Newberg; Robert W. Lundeen, Deer Harbor, Wash.; Milosh Popovich, Corvallis; and Norbert J. Wellman, Portland.