The Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture

It is a Christmas story the campus will never forget. Al Hundere, a 1938 graduate in mechanical engineering, read about Oregon State University religion scholar, Marcus Borg, in an issue of the Oregon Stater, OSU's alumni publication. So impressed was Mr. Hundere with Professor Borg's studies on the historical Jesus that he was inspired to contribute $1.5 million to the OSU Foundation to establish a chair in religion and culture. In honor of Professor Borg's work, Mr. Hundere's check was dated Christmas Day, 1993.

A native Oregonian, Mr. Hundere was an inventor, leader, and authority in the aviation industry. In addition, he was known nationally for his work in developing laboratory tests for the petrochemical industry. Though he had neither a background in religious studies, nor a particular religious agenda, he recognized the importance of religion in shaping attitudes, politics, and the lives of people around the world. He passed away in 1996.

The Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture provides OSU with ongoing leadership in the field of religious scholarship and inquiry.


Courtney S. Campbell

Courtney CampbellCourtney S. Campbell, a professor in OSU's Department of Philosophy, became the second holder of the Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture in 2008. A specialist in the field of biomedical ethics, Campbell has been on the university's faculty since 1990.

Former editor of the Hastings Center Report, a leading bioethics journal, Campbell was a research associate at The Hastings Center, a think tank for medical ethics, before coming to OSU. He has served as an ethics consultant to President Bill Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Committee, which addressed public policy on human cloning and stem cell research, and to the Oregon Hospice Association in addressing "death with dignity" questions.

Campbell edited the book What Price Parenthood? and has written some 125 professional publications on topics including physician-assisted suicide, reproductive technologies, the status of the body in medicine, and religion and bioethics.

"I am drawn to medical ethics because all the ultimate questions of our lives—who we are, our origins, our nature and destiny, the meaning of our mortality, the experience of pain and suffering—get worked out not in abstract intellectualizing but in concrete choices made by patients, professionals, and policy makers," he said.

Campbell received his bachelor's degree in religious studies from Yale University and his Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia. He succeeded Hundere Chair holder Marcus J. Borg, an internationally renowned scholar of the historical Jesus.

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