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OSU surpasses fundraising milestone of $1 billion


A copy of President Ray’s speech is available online: http://bit.ly/1dRiaHx

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray announced today that the university’s first comprehensive campaign has surpassed its $1 billion fund-raising goal – 11 months ahead of schedule.

Ray made the announcement at his annual “State of the University” address in Portland to an audience of more than 600 business, political, civic and education leaders, alumni and friends of the university. He encouraged contributions through the remainder of the year to further deepen the university’s impact on students, the state, nation and world. Gifts to The Campaign for OSU now total $1,012,601,000.

“While this is a remarkable milestone, this campaign has never been about the big number,” Ray said. “Our generous donors are committed, as is the university, to transforming Oregon State into a top-10 land grant research university to significantly advance the health of the Earth, its people and our economy.”

Donors have brought private support for Oregon State to an all-time high, with annual totals exceeding $100 million for the last three years. More than 102,000 donors to the campaign have:

  • Created more than 600 new scholarships and fellowship funds – a 30 percent increase – with gifts for student support exceeding $170 million;
  • Contributed more than $100 million to help attract and retain leading professors and researchers, including funding for 77 of Oregon State’s 124 endowed faculty positions;
  • Supported the construction or renovation of more than two dozen campus facilities, including Austin Hall in the College of Business, the Linus Pauling Science Center, new cultural centers, and the OSU Basketball Center. Bonding support from the state was critical to many of these projects.


Business leaders Pat Reser, a 1960 OSU alumna; Patrick Stone, a 1974 graduate; and Jim Rudd have co-chaired the campaign since its public launch in 2007. All three have been trustees of the OSU Foundation, and Reser, board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, also serves as chair of Oregon State’s new Board of Trustees that was appointed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

“Our donor community is growing because people are deepening their ties to Oregon State – and that helps make us a better university,” said J. Michael Goodwin, CEO and president of the OSU Foundation, the nonprofit organization charged with raising, administering and stewarding private gifts to the university.  “This broad base of support positions Oregon State well for future philanthropic support and engagement from our alumni, parents and friends.”

Donors from every state and more than 50 countries have invested in OSU as part of the campaign. Almost 40 percent of these campaign donors are first-time donors to the university. More than 1,000 donors have made campaign gifts of more than $100,000, including 177 donors who have made gifts of $1 million or more. Oregon State joins only 34 other public universities in the country to have crossed the billion-dollar mark in a fund-raising campaign.

“The campaign is about developing and energizing a community of dedicated advocates, people who share our vision of what Oregon State can accomplish,” Ray said. “These partners have changed Oregon State forever – and I believe the best is yet to come.”

In his State of the University address, Ray said Oregon needs to quit talking and start planning to meet its goal of a more educated citizenry to achieve economic and social prosperity. He cited the state’s lack of apparent focus on reaching Oregon’s “40-40-20” educational achievement goal, which calls for 40 percent of adult Oregonians to hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree, 40 percent to have an associate’s degree or a meaningful postsecondary certificate, and all adult Oregonians to hold a high school diploma or equivalent by the year 2025.

OSU has developed a plan to do its part and is committed to those goals, already demonstrating success, Ray said. But more is needed.

“Beyond Oregon State University’s own enrollment management and strategic plan, I have no idea how the state will get to 40-40-20, which could require as many as 35,000 more students annually enrolled in our four-year universities and colleges,” Ray said. “There is no statewide blueprint.”

Ray went on to describe how OSU’s enrollment grew by 1,532 students in Corvallis and online and by another 135 students at OSU-Cascades in Bend.

“Despite those gains, the net increase in enrollment among all Oregon public universities outside of Oregon State totaled 14 students,” Ray pointed out. That includes an enrollment increase at the Oregon Institute of Technology of 413 students.

OSU has been following a plan for the past two years to help the state achieve its goals. Ray said the university expects to educate 28,000 students in Corvallis, 3,000 to 5,000 students at OSU-Cascades by 2025; and grow its online enrollment to more than 7,000 students. The university also plans to educate another 500 students annually by 2025 at a new marine studies campus located in Newport.

Ray, who recently completed his 10th year as OSU president, pointed to several Oregon State University initiatives that will help boost the economy:


  • OSU will lead a new national effort through its College of Forestry to advance the science and technology necessary to utilize wood in the construction of taller buildings in a public-private partnership that will advance manufacturing in Oregon and boost rural economies;
  • The university launched the OSU Advantage last year – a one-stop shop for linking businesses with the students and researchers of Oregon State to accelerate new business development and spinoff companies;
  • OSU’s research enterprise continues to grow and reached $263 million in 2013 – a 70 percent increase over the last decade. Two major initiatives include the selection of Oregon State to lead the design and construction of the next generation of ocean-going research vessels for the United States, and the selection of OSU, along with partners in Alaska and Hawaii, to operate one of six national sites for unmanned aircraft systems.

Industry-sponsored research is up 60 percent in five years, Ray pointed out, and licensing agreements with industry have increased 83 percent. Since 2006, OSU has helped launched 20 startup companies, which have raised $190 million in venture capital and created hundreds of jobs.

“Economic development,” Ray said, “is part of our DNA.”

Media Contact: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217

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Kearney Hall

Kearney Hall


Video that could be downloaded for B-roll is available online: http://bit.ly/1frg9Xc

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

Media Contact: 

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.

Media Contact: 

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.

Media Contact: 

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.

Media Contact: 

Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817

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Nick Flynn

Joan Didion biographer Tracy Daugherty to discuss his work Dec. 2 at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host a conversation with Joan Didion biographer and OSU Professor emeritus Tracy Daugherty at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Daugherty’s latest book, “The Last Love Song,” is a biography of American author and journalist Didion. The book, which was published in August by St. Martin’s Press, debuted at No. 11 on the New York Times best-seller list for hardcover nonfiction.

“The Last Love Song,” is the first printed biography about the reclusive Didion, a narrative that traces her life from her youth in Sacramento to her marriage and partnership with her late husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, and beyond.

Keith Scribner, an author and professor in the School of Writing, Literature and Film in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, will interview Daugherty about his work at the event, which is free and open to the public. Refreshments and a book signing will follow.

Daugherty is a professor emeritus of English and creative writing at OSU, where he helped found the Masters of Fine Arts program in creative writing. He is the author of four novels, five short story collections, a book of personal essays and three literary biographies. “Hiding Man,” his biography of Donald Barthelme, was a New York Times and New Yorker notable Book of the Year. 

His first collection of literary essays, “Let Us Build Us a City,” will be published by the University of Georgia Press in 2016. He recently completed several new short stories and novellas and has begun research on a new biography.

The event is being presented by the OSU Foundation. The Alumni Center is located at 725 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

Media Contact: 

University Events, 541-737-4717, events@oregonstate.edu

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Tracy Daugherty

Tracy Daugherty

OSU students to hold vigil for victims of violence around world

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Ettihad Cultural Center at Oregon State University is holding a candle light vigil to stand in solidarity with victims of mindless terror in Paris, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Kenya. Students are inviting the community to stand beside them as they pay respects to the victims. The gathering will take place from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19, in  the Student Experience Center plaza, east of the Memorial Union. 

The ECC is a cross-cultural resource for OSU students who have a cultural or ethnic background in central and southwestern Asia and northern Africa, and for those who are interested in learning more about those cultures and regions. 

Organizers say the atrocities committed against humanity this week have shaken everyone. But the Ettihad student community is feeling particularly vulnerable right now because of the negative spotlight that can fall on people of Muslim faith and those with cultural or ethnic ties to the Middle East and North Africa. This event is a means to join hands and raise a voice against division and hatred. 

Media Contact: 

Amarah Khan, 541-737-6342; amarah.khan@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University Opera Workshop presents scenes from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Opera Workshop will present “An Evening of Opera,” Tuesday, Nov. 24, in OSU’s new Learning Innovation Center.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in LInC Room 128, 165 S.W. Sackett Place, Corvallis.

The program will be Acts I and II of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” sung in English and set in a 1950s “Mad Men” era theme. The storyline involves Figaro, his fiancée, his boss, and a wedding day love triangle that makes his life complicated.

The performance is directed and designed by Marc Callahan, visiting professor of opera and voice. Oregon State student Anna Patch is the assistant director. Music is directed by David Servias. The costume and set crew is comprised of Callahan and Patch with assistance from DeMara Cabrera, Alec Zinsli, Ken Richardson, Kathi Halloran and Taylor Siling.

The role of Figaro will be sung by Mason Cooper. The role of Susanna will be shared by Emma Nissen, Logan Stewart, Carolyn Poutasse, Jenna Skarphol and Taylor Siling. Other roles are: Bartolo by Jeramie Gajan; Marcellina by Larissa Zens and Diana Alarcon; Cherubino by Blair Bowmer, Anna Patch and Sara Engle; Count by David Zielke; Countess by Clarissa Clark and Grace Weaver; Antonio by Taylor Fahlman; and Basilio by Michael Ripp and Alex Weingarten.

Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door, with open seating. Advance tickets may be purchased online at TicketTomato.com. OSU students will be admitted free with a valid student ID card. Tickets will be sold at the Learning Innovation Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of the performance.

OSU Opera Workshop is a participant in Corvallis Arts for All, a program which offers up to two tickets for $5 each to participants in the SNAP Program with a valid Oregon Trail Card. 


Erin Sneller, 541-737-5592, erin.sneller@oregonstate.edu

Violinist Frank Almond to perform with Lipinski Stradivarius Nov. 17 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Concert violinist, recording artist and Milwaukee Symphony Concertmaster Frank Almond will perform at Oregon State University on Tuesday, Nov.17.

Almond will perform with OSU music professor and pianist Rachelle McCabe in a concert to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his rare and celebrated instrument, a 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th Street.

The concert is part of the new SAC Presents performing arts series sponsored by the School of Arts and Communication at OSU.

Almond made international headlines when his Stradivarius was stolen in an armed robbery following a concert in January 2014. The violin was recovered nine days later, and the story was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the BBC World Service, and Vanity Fair, among others.

Almond and McCabe will perform some of the works from his Avie label recording “A Violin’s Life.” The recording was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and debuted on the Billboard Top Ten Classical chart in its first week of release.

The program includes the Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano by César Franck, considered a classic in the violin and piano sonata repertoire and probably Franck’s best-known composition. Also on the program is Bach’s Ciaccona from the Partita No. 2 in D minor, BMV 1004.

Almond holds the Charles and Marie Caestecker Concertmaster Chair at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is a former concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and has been a guest concertmaster with the London Philharmonic. He is an active solo and chamber musician, performing in the U.S. and abroad.

McCabe appears frequently as a solo recitalist and chamber musician and has performed in the U.S., Canada, Southeast Asia and England. At Oregon State, McCabe directs the piano program and is the artistic director of Corvallis-OSU Piano International and its Steinway Recital Series.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $28 at the door for general admission; and $20 in advance, $23 at the door for seniors, youth and non-OSU college students. OSU students will be admitted free with a valid student ID card. Advance tickets are available at Gracewinds Music and online at TicketTomato.com. Any remaining tickets will be sold at The LaSells Stewart Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show.

SAC Presents is a participant in Corvallis Arts for All, a program which offers up to two tickets for $5 each to participants in the SNAP Program with a valid Oregon Trail Card. The tickets may be purchased at The LaSells Stewart Center the night of the concert.

Media Contact: 

Erin Sneller, 541-737-5592, erin.sneller@oregonstate.edu

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Frank Almond. Credit Nigel Parry, CPI.  

Frank Almond

OSU Theatre opens 2015-16 season with ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in November

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s 2015-16 season will begin this month with a production of William Shakespeare’s enduring tale of young love, “Romeo and Juliet.” 

Performances will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-14 and Nov. 19-20 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 22 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

OSU theater arts professor George Caldwell is directing the familiar tale of star-crossed lovers, which is set at the height of the 19th-century Romantic era and will feature elegant costumes and exciting swordplay.

The cast features OSU students Kolby Baethke as Paris; Daniel Barber as Mercutio; Cheyenne Dickey as a vendor;  Robert Best as Lord Montague; Dakota Carter as a Montague; Ruth Drake as a vendor; Erick Harris as Samson; Nick Diaz-Hui as Tybalt; Lindsey Esch as Lady Montague; Sedona Garcia as Benvolia; Anahelena Goodman-Flood as a friend; Brian Greer as Romeo; Alex Herrington as Rosaline; Emerson Hovekamp as a Capulet;  Jade Kasbohm as a local; Sidney King as the apothecary; Hunter Leishman as Abraham; Annie Parham as Juliet; Nate Pereira as a Capulet servant; Chase Pixley as a Capulet; Emily Upton as the nurse; Steve Walter as a Montague; and Cory Warren as the Prince.

Also featured are community actors Rick Wallace as Lord Capulet; Diana Jepsen as Lady Capulet; and Craig Currier as Friar Lawrence.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the first production of the 2015-16 OSU Theatre season, “All the World’s a Stage: Celebrating Shakespeare,” and will feature a collection of plays inspired by Shakespeare. The season is being dedicated to the memory of C.V. “Ben” Bennett, a long-time OSU faculty member who died this summer. During his career, Bennett worked in technical theater, as a director, as coordinator of the University Theatre and as chair of the Department of Speech Communication at OSU.

Other productions planned for the season include Cole Porter’s jazzy musical, “Kiss Me Kate,” Paula Vogel’s “Desdemona: A Play About A Handkerchief,” and Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” 

Tickets for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ are $12; $10 for seniors; $8 youth/student; and $5 for OSU students. They can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ or by calling the box office at 541-737-2784. Accommodations for disabilities and group ticket sales may also be arranged through the box office.

Media Contact: 

Elizabeth Helman, Elizabeth.Helman@oregonstate.edu