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OSU Board of Trustees elects initial leadership

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees, in its first meeting since being confirmed by the Oregon Senate in November, on Thursday unanimously elected Patricia “Pat” Reser of Beaverton, Ore., as initial chairwoman.

The board also voted Darald “Darry” Callahan of San Rafael, Calif., as initial vice-chairman. The positions are being listed as “initial” until the board becomes official under state law on July 1.

Reser is board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc., a family-owned fresh refrigerated food company. A retired employee of the Beaverton School District, she is one of three co-chairs of OSU’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee and is serving her third term as an OSU Foundation Trustee.

Callahan is former president of Chevron Chemical Company, and served as executive vice president of Power, Chemicals and Technology for ChevronTexaco Corp. from 2001 until his retirement in 2003. He is a former chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees also created three initial committees:

  • The Academic Strategies Committee will be chaired by Paul Kelly of Portland; Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes of Portland is vice chair;
  • The Finance and Administration Committee will be chaired by Kirk Schueler of Bend; Elson Floyd of Pullman, Wash., is vice chair;
  • The Executive and Audit Committee will be chaired by Reser; Callahan is vice chair.

The board approved Meg Reeves, OSU’s general counsel, as board secretary. It also approved a series of bylaws guiding its actions.

Steve Clark, vice president for University Relations and Marketing at OSU, said the primary purpose of this first meeting of the board has been to orient the board with the university, introduce the members to their roles and responsibilities, and allow them to get acquainted with one another.

The board meeting will continue on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center.

More information about the OSU Board of Trustees is available online at: http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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Pat Reser, OSU Board

Pat Reser

 

Darry Callahan and Ed Ray
Darry Callahan and
OSU President Ed Ray

Amber fossil reveals ancient reproduction in flowering plants

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 100-million-year old piece of amber has been discovered which reveals the oldest evidence of sexual reproduction in a flowering plant – a cluster of 18 tiny flowers from the Cretaceous Period – with one of them in the process of making some new seeds for the next generation.

The perfectly-preserved scene, in a plant now extinct, is part of a portrait created in the mid-Cretaceous when flowering plants were changing the face of the Earth forever, adding beauty, biodiversity and food. It appears identical to the reproduction process that “angiosperms,” or flowering plants still use today.

Researchers from Oregon State University and Germany published their findings on the fossils in the Journal of the Botanical Institute of Texas.

The flowers themselves are in remarkable condition, as are many such plants and insects preserved for all time in amber. The flowing tree sap covered the specimens and then began the long process of turning into a fossilized, semi-precious gem. The flower cluster is one of the most complete ever found in amber and appeared at a time when many of the flowering plants were still quite small.

Even more remarkable is the microscopic image of pollen tubes growing out of two grains of pollen and penetrating the flower’s stigma, the receptive part of the female reproductive system. This sets the stage for fertilization of the egg and would begin the process of seed formation – had the reproductive act been completed.

“In Cretaceous flowers we’ve never before seen a fossil that shows the pollen tube actually entering the stigma,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the OSU College of Science. “This is the beauty of amber fossils. They are preserved so rapidly after entering the resin that structures such as pollen grains and tubes can be detected with a microscope.”

The pollen of these flowers appeared to be sticky, Poinar said, suggesting it was carried by a pollinating insect, and adding further insights into the biodiversity and biology of life in this distant era. At that time much of the plant life was composed of conifers, ferns, mosses, and cycads.  During the Cretaceous, new lineages of mammals and birds were beginning to appear, along with the flowering plants. But dinosaurs still dominated the Earth.

“The evolution of flowering plants caused an enormous change in the biodiversity of life on Earth, especially in the tropics and subtropics,” Poinar said.

“New associations between these small flowering plants and various types of insects and other animal life resulted in the successful distribution and evolution of these plants through most of the world today,” he said. “It’s interesting that the mechanisms for reproduction that are still with us today had already been established some 100 million years ago.”

The fossils were discovered from amber mines in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar, previously known as Burma. The newly-described genus and species of flower was named Micropetasos burmensis.

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George Poinar, 541-752-0917

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Ancient flowers

Ancient flower


Pollen tubes

Pollen tubes

Celebrate Veterans Day – then head back to class

CORVALLIS, Ore. – With improved educational benefits and after years of conflict in the Middle East, a flood of veterans are heading to college in numbers that surpass those of recent history.

Oregon State University has 1,025 students who are receiving veteran educational benefits, a new record and the most of any university in Oregon. They now account for about one out of every 25 students at OSU, and a range of programs are being created or expanded to help facilitate this stream of incoming veterans.

“I’ve talked to counterparts all over the country and this is clearly a national trend,” said Gus Bedwell, the OSU veteran resources coordinator. “OSU has always had quite a few veteran students, but right now we’re almost triple the number of five years ago. Other institutions are also seeing three to four times as many veterans as they used to.”

Part of the increase, officials say, is due to an expansion of educational benefits that were put in place in the early 2000s, including some that veteran dependents and spouses can use. A weak economy also made it an opportune time for veterans to attend college, just like many other students.

OSU has responded with renewed efforts to pave the way for returning veterans, programs to cut through federal bureaucracy, and make sure the students get both the personal and professional help they need.

Two new initiatives at OSU are an example. A Student Health Services Veterans Work Group is helping to ensure treatment of the full range of health concerns that veterans face, including access to some local services. And a Veterans Work Group focuses much of its efforts on academic and programmatic support. This group and other officials have trained advisers, worked to expedite the transfer of military transcripts to academia, and helped keep students informed during the recent government shutdown.

A website at http://oregonstate.edu/veterans/home/ helps guide veterans, and a veterans lounge in the OSU Memorial Union allows veterans an opportunity to meet and build their community in a casual setting.

“OSU has really made an effort to understand the obstacles veterans face and help work around them,” Bedwell said.

For instance, he said, the federal government is often slow at making veteran educational benefit payments. Officials know the money will come, but in the meantime it can cost students penalties, interest, and create “holds” that interfere with course registration. So the university created a mechanism to avoid these holds, allow regular progress with an educational program, and refund any penalties once the government payments are made. This program is called the “Goodwill Interest Waiver.”

The university’s nationally recognized program of distance education, E-Campus, is also a favorite with many veterans. They can take courses while living literally anywhere in the world and earn degrees in a wide range of fields.

OSU, with its origin as a land grant college, had a mandate under the Morrill Act of 1862 to “include military tactics” as part of its educational program, and the university has always been tuned to the needs of veterans.

It’s one of a limited number of schools that hosts all four branches of the Reserve Officers Training Corp, and its student center, the Memorial Union, was named to help honor veterans, many of them returned from World War I. OSU has earned the title of “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs several years in a row.

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Gus Bedwell, 541-737-7662

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Veterans Day Parade

Students in parade

Celebrated memoirist Nick Flynn to read at OSU on Oct. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Nick Flynn will read from his work on Friday, Oct. 11, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda. The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Flynn is the author of three memoirs including “The Reenactments” (2013), “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment” (2010) and “Another … Night in Suck City” (2004). Flynn is also the author of three books of poetry.

Of Flynn’s most recent memoir, “The Reenactments,”  Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Flynn’s determination to better understand his life through the act of writing and remembering has yielded a truly insightful, original work.” Clea Simon of The Boston Globe said Flynn’s writing is “always specific and honest” and “dryly funny.”

His award-winning memoir “Another … Night in Suck City” was turned into the movie “Being Flynn,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. That book recounted his unusual relationship with his alcoholic father and the suicide of his mother.

Flynn, 52, is a professor of poetry and married to actress Lili Taylor.

Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

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Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817

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NickFlynn
Nick Flynn

OSU Theatre to present Vietnam-era play, ‘Strange Snow,’ March 5-8

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Theatre’s 2014-15 season, which focuses on War and Remembrance, continues with the Lab Theatre production of Stephen Metcalf’s Vietnam-era play, “Strange Snow,” in March.

The production, directed by OSU Theatre Arts student Bryanna Rainwater, will run March 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 2 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Lab Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The play tells the story of a troubled past shared by two Vietnam veterans during a fishing trip on opening day of the season. Relationships develop through humor and heartache as Dave and Megs attempt to move on from a horrific event. The exploration of friendship and the impacts of war upon individuals and families serve as a reminder of the personal sacrifices made in military service.

“This play explores much more than what’s at the surface and reveals a lot about the human condition and what it is like to be vulnerable,” Rainwater said.

The production features the work of Oregon State students Amanda Kelner as Martha, Evan Butler as Megs and Brad Stone as Dave.

Tickets are $8 adults; $6 for seniors; $5 youth/student; and $4 for OSU students. They can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ  or by calling the theatre box office at 541-737-2784. There is no reserved seating for this production. For more information or DAS accommodations, contact the box office.

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Author Jenny Boully to read at Oregon State March 6

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Jenny Boully will read from her works on Friday, March 6, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda on the Corvallis campus beginning at 7:30 p.m. A question and answer session and book signing will follow.

Boully is the author of four books, most recently “not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them,” from Tarpaulin Sky Press. Her other books include “The Books of Beginnings and Endings,” (Sarabande Books) “[one love affair]* (Tarpaulin Sky Press), and “The Body: An Essay,” (Essay Press, first published by Slope Editions).

Boully’s chapbook of prose, “Moveable Types,” was released by Noemi Press. Her work has been anthologized in “The Best American Poetry,” “The Next American Essay,” “Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present,” and other places.

Boully was born in Thailand and raised in Texas. She attended Hollins University and went on to receive her M.A. in English Criticism and Writing. She also earned a master of fine arts from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and daughter and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.

The reading is part of the 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The series brings nationally known writers to Oregon State University.

The event is free and open to the public. The program is supported by OSU Libraries and Press, the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele and Grass Roots Books and Music.

The Valley Library is located at 201 S.W. Waldo Place on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

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Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to give Pauling Peace Lecture March 4

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Activist, writer and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will give the annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

The 32nd annual lecture, “The Future of the United States,” will be held in the Austin Auditorium at LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St. The event is free and open to the public. 

Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her commitment to national and international social justice issues.

After earning a doctorate in history at University of California, Los Angeles, Dunbar-Ortiz taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the departments of ethnic studies and women’s studies.

Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of several books, including “Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico,” and most recently, “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.”

The OSU lectureship honors Linus Pauling, an OSU graduate and two-time Nobel Prize laureate, and his wife, Ava Helen Pauling, a noted peace activist. It is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts.

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Richard Clinton, 541-737-6246, Richard.clinton@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University to honor volunteer leaders at Arizona event

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Four Oregon State University volunteer leaders who have played key roles in the university’s advancement will be honored at the Destination OSU awards banquet in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday, Feb. 20.

Honorees are James H. Rudd of Lake Oswego; Suzanne Phelps McGrath and Bernard K. McGrath of Portland; and Harold Ashford of Bend.

“The transformation of Oregon State University over the last decade could not have taken place without dedicated volunteers who shared their expertise, helped us make connections and were leaders in giving,” said OSU president Edward J. Ray. “Jim, Harold and Sue and Bernie are extraordinary examples.” 

The OSU Foundation will present its highest honor, the Lifetime Trustee Award, to Rudd, CEO and principal of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management. He was a foundation trustee from 1993 to 2007, serving as chair when the university publicly launched its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Rudd co-chaired a committee guiding The Campaign for OSU, which concluded at the end of 2014 after raising $1.14 billion to support university priorities.

The university named Rudd an honorary alumnus in 2006. He joins other lifetime trustees: Robert W. Lundeen of Deer Harbor, Washington; and Portland area residents C.W. Knodell, Duane McDougall, Kenneth R. Poorman, Norbert J. Wellman and Benjamin R. Whiteley.

Ashford will receive the OSU Alumni Association’s Dan Poling Service Award, an honor named for an influential dean of men who served the university for more than five decades. Head of a Bend accounting firm and a 1972 Oregon State alumnus, Ashford serves as an OSU Foundation trustee and helped to build relationships between leaders in Central Oregon and OSU-Cascades. The rapidly growing branch campus is expanding from a two-year degree completion program to a four-year university and will enroll its first freshmen this fall.

The McGraths will receive the Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award from OSU Athletics. The award honors the legacy of Chaves, who was captain of the 1942 Rose Bowl team and became an influential booster in various fundraising activities.

In addition to being loyal supporters of OSU football, the McGraths, class of 1970 graduates, made an especially significant impact as volunteer fundraisers for the renovation of Goss Stadium and the creation of the Pat Casey Baseball Endowment. Both have served on numerous OSU boards. Bernie McGrath, who is retired from a teaching career with the Tigard-Tualatin School District, is currently vice president of the Our Beaver Nation advisory board. Sue McGrath is president of Vision Capital Management.

The Destination OSU awards gala at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Scottsdale will include a special appearance by OSU's new head football coach, Gary Andersen. He will join OSU head baseball coach Pat Casey at an athletics event on Feb. 21. Earlier that day, Oregon State supporters will gather for a tailgater before the OSU Beavers play Oklahoma in the Pac-12 versus Big 12 baseball tournament in Surprise, Ariz.

This is the third consecutive year Oregon State alumni and friends have gathered in Arizona for Destination OSU. The state is home to more than 3,000 OSU graduates: the largest concentration of alumni beyond Oregon, Washington and California. Destination OSU is presented by the OSU Foundation, OSU Alumni Association and OSU Athletics. Event registration and information: osufoundation.org/DestinationOSU.

Source: 

Molly Brown, 541-231-0523, molly.brown@oregonstate.edu

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James H. Rudd

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Suzanne Phelps McGrath and Bernard K. McGrath

The_McGraths

Harold Ashford

Ashford

Auditions for OSU’s production of ‘Dolly West’ to be held Feb. 22-24

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s spring production of “Dolly West’s Kitchen” by Frank McGuinness will be held at 6:30 p.m. each night Feb. 22-24 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The play, set in a small Irish town during World War II, tells the story of a family that faces personal conflicts when allied troops cross the border and enter their home.

Those auditioning are asked to prepare a two- to three-minute monologue. Auditions will also consist of cold readings from the script. There are roles available for three women and five men; the role of Rima has already been cast.

Scripts are available for check-out to read from the Theatre Arts office in Withycombe Hall 141. Auditions are open to all OSU students, faculty and staff and to the community. Performances will run May 7-9 and May 15-17.

For more information contact the director, Jade McCutcheon, at jrmcreative@gmail.com.

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OSU President Ray to chair national AAC&U board

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray has been elected chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities board of directors. The organization is the leading national association dealing with the quality and public understanding of undergraduate liberal education.

Founded in 1915, the association has more than 1,300 member institutions, including accredited public and private colleges, research universities, community colleges and other institutions. Among its goals are to advance liberal education as a global necessity, increase the value of college degrees in the United States, improve student success and promote innovation, and develop social responsibility.

Ray has been president of OSU since July 31, 2003. Under his leadership, Oregon State developed its first comprehensive strategic plan, launched a campaign that successfully raised more than $1.1 billion, put a plan in place to transform the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend into a four-year branch campus, and experienced a remarkable growth in enrollment, research funding, and private support.

The university recently announced plans to launch a Marine Studies Initiative that would significantly broaden OSU’s research, education and outreach opportunities and impact for ocean-related issues and their impacts on ocean health and coastal communities. Plans call for providing education opportunities for some 500 students at Oregon State’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport by 2025.

Ray serves on the board of directors of the American Council on Education and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Before coming to Oregon State, he was a faculty member and administrator at The Ohio State University for more than 30 years, serving as executive vice president and provost from 1998 to 2003.

The OSU president succeeds Ken Ruscio, president of Washington and Lee University, chaired the  AAC&U board in 2014.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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OSU President Ed Ray