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In 1988, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation made a gift to establish an endowed chair in marine biology in the Department of Zoology.
The Valley family's ties with OSU go back three generations. The late Wayne Valley, class of '36, was an OSU football player who went on to a highly successful business career as a home builder in California. He was also a long-time major owner of the Oakland Raiders. His wife Gladys, who passed away in May, 1998, was class of '33, and was the first secretary of the College of Science, serving under two deans. Their late son, Patrick Wayne Valley, graduated in 1969 and played rugby for OSU. The OSU tradition in the Valley family continued with grandson Wade Westhoff, class of '93, the son of Wayne and Gladys' daughter Sonya (Sunny).
The Valley Foundation was established in 1977, and has supported OSU generously ever since. In addition to the Wayne and Gladys Valley Chair in Marine Biology, Valley gifts have supported an endowed scholarship, the rugby program, construction of Patrick Wayne Valley Field, the OSU Center for the Humanities, the University Theater, the Valley Football Center, the Valley Gymnastics Center, and the Marine Mammal Research program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The Valley Foundation contributed $10 million for the expansion of The Valley Library.
The Honorable Jane Lubchenco (Ph.D., Harvard University, 1975) and Bruce Menge (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1970) were named the Wayne and Gladys Valley Chairs in Marine Biology in 1995. They have taught at OSU since 1976.
Dr. Lubchenco's research emphasizes the evolutionary ecology of marine populations and communities, with a particular interest in biodiversity, conservation biology, and global change. Dr. Menge's research focuses on the structure and organization of marine communities and geographical ecology. Together, they are researching the patterns and causes of biodiversity in rocky intertidal habitats along the Oregon coast.
Dr. Lubchenco and Dr. Menge received a $17.7 million five-year grant from the Packard Foundation to fund PISCO, the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, which establishes a consortium of researchers at four institutions (OSU, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara) to study the dynamics of nearshore coastal ecosystems, and relate their studies to issues of interest at basic scientific, management, and policy levels.
On March 19, 2009, Dr. Lubchenco was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. In this capacity, she is serving as the ninth administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nation's top science agency for climate, oceans, and the atmosphere. Dr. Lubchenco is the first woman and the first marine ecologist to lead NOAA. A Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, eight honorary degrees, the 2002 Heinz Award in the Environment, and the 2003 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest.
Dr. Menge's awards and honors include the F.A. Gilfillan Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Science awarded by OSU, the Mercer Award of the Ecological Society of America, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.