$5 million gift funds forestry education
Ray: 'Outstanding leadership for the next century and beyond' at OSU
By JOHN SOWELL
ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) -- Roseburg Forest Products CEO Allyn Ford and his wife, Cheryl Ramberg Ford, have donated $5 million to create an endowment to fund the dean's position in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
The gift came as part of The Campaign for OSU, an effort to raise $850 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy and conduct research that changes the world, according to the college. Of the $743 million raised, more than $74 million has been collected toward a goal of $97 million for endowed positions and other faculty support.
Since 2004, the number of endowed faculty positions at OSU has doubled.
"At Roseburg Forest Products, we have seen very clearly how important the College of Forestry is for the future of our industry," Ford said in a written release from OSU. "Faculty research and innovation help us stay competitive in the global marketplace. It's also essential that the college continue to provide the industry with graduates who understand these complex systems."
OSU President Ed Ray praised the Roseburg couple for their gift, saying that in tough economic times smart people redouble their efforts.
"Their investment assures that the college will have outstanding leadership for the next century and beyond," Ray said.
The gift was announced Friday, but the Fords are on vacation and were unavailable for further comment.
Hal Salwasser, who has led the College of Forestry for the past 12 years, will fill the Cheryl Ramberg and Allyn C. Ford Deanship of Forestry. Under Salwasser's leadership, the college has been ranked as the top forest resources research program in North America and the leading forest ecology program.
Salwasser, who came to OSU in 2000 after many years with the U.S. Forest Service, is also executive dean of OSU's Division of Earth Systems Science, which includes the colleges of forestry, agricultural sciences and oceanic and atmospheric sciences.
He has announced his retirement at the end of the current academic year. The endowment, school officials said, will ensure OSU will be able to recruit a leader of similar caliber to replace Salwasser.
Allyn Ford is a member of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and the OSU board of visitors. He is chairman of the board of Umpqua Bank and serves on the board of the World Forestry Center and the Doernbecher Hospital Foundation.
Cheryl Ramberg Ford serves on the board of the University of Oregon Foundation and is the former president of the UO Alumni Association. She also serves on the boards of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene and Wildlife Safari in Winston.
A gift from Allyn Ford's late mother, Hallie Ford, led to construction of the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, which opened on the OSU campus Sept. 8.
Allyn and Cheryl Ford also donated money to the University of Oregon for the new alumni center that opened in June next to Matthew Knight Arena. It is called the Cheryl Ramberg Ford and Allyn Ford Alumni Center.
The couple's donation to Oregon State will be partially matched by the OSU Provost's Faculty Match Program, which encourages donor investments in endowed faculty positions. Over a five-year period, the match on the Fords' gift will provide an additional $450,000 for College of Forestry programs.
OSU now has endowed deanships in three of its 12 colleges. Endowments were previously created in the colleges of business and veterinary medicine.