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Media Contact: Molly Brown, 541-737-3602
CORVALLIS, Ore. —The University Honors College at Oregon State University has received a $1 million pledge to create endowments in support of its students, faculty and the dean.
The planned gift, by an anonymous couple, is the largest ever received by the college.
"By providing a forum for high-potential students, the Honors College is exemplary of the best that OSU has to offer," the donors said. "We have been impressed with the intellectual acumen of the students and believe them to represent those who will contribute to Oregon's successes in the future. We sincerely hope that those who become aware of our intentions and who recognize that estate gifts do not immediately become available will help fill the gap in the meantime."
The University Honors College is one of just a handful of colleges nationwide — and the only one in Oregon — that award prestigious Honors Baccalaureate degrees in any undergraduate major. Students admitted to the highly competitive program have an average grade point of more than 3.9, and present academic qualifications on a par with students accepted to the top-ranked universities in the nation.
Donor support has been a key to the success of honors students, as illustrated twice this spring.
Caitlin Crimp, a biochemistry/biophysics major who received the Augustin & Rita Gombart Medical Scholarship, was named a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar — an honor awarded to the nation's top students in science, math and engineering.
Taralyn Tan, a 2008 graduate in the same program and recipient of the Ray and Corky Grewe Presidential Scholarship, was awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Marcus L. Urann Fellowship for her graduate study in neuroscience at Harvard University. The former University Honors College ambassador was the top-ranked applicant for the national fellowship, receiving a perfect score for her application.
The University Honors College leads the effort to attract diverse, high-achieving students to OSU — including the most Oregon high school valedictorians of any Oregon institution. It offers them small classes and close mentoring relationships with some of OSU's most talented faculty.
In making their commitment, the donors cited the importance of the University Honors College in keeping Oregon's best students in-state, and even attracting out-of-state students to OSU, some of whom become lifelong Oregon residents. The presence of these highly motivated students on campus creates a more dynamic learning environment for all students, while also enriching the experience of faculty.
"This is an amazing gift that speaks to the significance of the University Honors College to its students, to OSU and to the state," said Dan Arp, dean of the University Honors College. "We are grateful to the donors for their generous support and for the confidence their gift demonstrates in our mission."
The planned gift is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Guided by OSU's strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy, and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $570 million has been committed to date, including more than $90 million toward a $100 million goal for scholarships and fellowships.