CORVALLIS - The top administrator of the Oregon State University Foundation announced on Thursday his plans to retire.

John Irving, 57, the executive director of the OSU Foundation, said he will retire by the end of the current academic year in June. His announcement was made Thursday to enable officials to plan for his succession.

"I have been fortunate to have spent the major portion of my career with the OSU Foundation, " Irving said. "With the fine leadership provided by the foundation officers and the leadership team of the university now in place, the time is right for my retirement."

"John Irving has been the bedrock of the OSU Foundation," said Dwayne Foley, senior vice president of Northwest Natural who serves as foundation president. "Under John's guidance, the foundation has grown to become nationally recognized. Its growth has supported almost all of the new construction that has taken place at OSU during the past decade, and has helped to provide critical financial support for scholarships, endowed professorships, and a broad variety of academic programs in the wake of declining public resources.

"John has been a visionary for the foundation," Foley added. "His direction has made the foundation a national leader in real property management and charitable estate planning. His thoroughness and concern for donors has helped our foundation continually set new records for giving and private philanthropy in Oregon."

OSU President Paul Risser echoed Foley's praise of Irving. "John Irving will leave a legacy of enormous dignity and accomplishment at Oregon State," said Risser. "His personal integrity and quiet manner have built years of trust and confidence into the foundation's management of its assets. His leadership has made the foundation a dynamic partner in OSU's hopes for the future."

Irving, who earned two undergraduate degree from OSU in 1963, is completing 33 years at the university. He joined the OSU staff in 1965 as business manager of the OSU Radiation Center and became a management analyst for the university in 1968. He moved to the OSU Foundation as business manager in 1970 and served as its real property manager and President's Club director before being named executive secretary in 1987. He has held the title of executive director since 1990.

The OSU Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary in October. It has recorded nearly one-half billion dollars in private gifts to benefit the university. Its current assets total more than $250 million with annual gifts of nearly $29 million.


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John Irving, 541-737-4218