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October 31, 2011
When OSU's International Degree program began in the early '90s, it was the first program of its kind in the United States, allowing students with any undergraduate major to earn a dual degree in international studies. Sunil Khanna, Associate Provost for International Programs, notes that in recent years growing numbers of Oregon State students have been participating in a wide variety of international academic, research and service programs. The university's international student population also is on the rise, up 19 percent from last fall, and faculty are involved in ever greater numbers of international research projects and initiatives. At the same time, OSU's collaboration with INTO University Partnerships is expanding the university's visibility, especially in Asia.
The 2011 President's Dinner program described ways that OSU is going beyond traditional study-abroad programs and international enrollment to deep collaborative relationships with partners around the world. Our leadership donors make it possible for faculty and students to expand their global reach. Here are a few examples, highlighting new members of the Harris Society.
Pat & Keith R. McKennon: Chemistry
College of Science
After graduating from Oregon State in 1955, Keith McKennon joined Dow as a chemist, beginning a career with the company that spanned 39 years. An OSU Foundation Lifetime Trustee, he and his wife, Pat, made the capstone gift for an endowed professorship honoring the late Bert Christensen, who led OSU's chemistry department for many years. The gift helped to meet the fundraising challenge for the construction of the Linus Pauling Science Center, which houses OSU chemistry faculty and scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute. The inaugural holder of the Christensen Professorship in Chemistry will join eminent chemistry faculty like Rich Carter, Doug Keszler, and Mas Subramanian, making discoveries with the potential for global applications.
Leica Geosystems: Geomatics engineering
College of Engineering
Equipment and software provided by Leica Geosystems helped OSU researchers study the devastating recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Chile, Japan, and Samoa. They used sophisticated LIDAR imaging to create some of the most accurate and detailed maps ever made of the forces of these powerful events, gaining insights to improve building design. Students in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering also benefit from the company’s support, learning to use state-of-the-art technology. (Charles Coiner, Vice President and General Manager U.S. West for
Leica Geosystems, receives a student's letter of thanks from Campaign Steering Committee co-chair Pat Reser and OSU President Ed Ray at the President's Dinner.)
The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation: Earth sciences
College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Founded by the Norwegian shipbuilder and chairman of SAS Scandinavian Airlines, the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation provides support in the earth sciences for institutions of excellence. For the last ten years, the foundation has invested in teaching and research in OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (which was recently expanded to incorporate OSU's geosciences program; the college's new name reflects its focus on the Earth as an integrated system). The Vetlesen Foundation's support helped the college hire Kelly Benoit-Bird in 2004, and in 2010 this marine biologist was named a MacArthur Fellow ("Genius Award"). Her work with innovative acoustic engineering techniques is shedding new light on the structure and behavior of food chains, contributing significantly to the global scientific community.