CORVALLIS - Loren McKinley, a former First Citizen of Oregon and one of the state's leading civic activists, has been named only the second recipient of the "Heart of Gold" award, presented by the Oregon State University Foundation.

The award honors an individual who has made significant, long-lasting contributions to the university.

McKinley, who studied journalism at Oregon State before fighting in World War II, has been an honorary trustee of the OSU Foundation, and one of the most active and successful university boosters, according to John Irving, executive director of the foundation.

"Over the years, Loren McKinley has had a hand in raising tens of millions of dollars to benefit our students, faculty and programs," Irving said. "When you mention to him an idea, you can just see the wheels turning as he considers who in his vast network of friends and colleagues could be mobilized to turn those ideas into a reality."

A former mayor of Tillamook, McKinley spent several years in the coastal city after World War II working in newspaper publishing and public relations. He later served as first director of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, then became its chief executive officer.

McKinley, who now lives in Portland, has been active in dozens of causes around the Northwest, including St. Mary's School, the Leukemia Association of Oregon, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Columbia River Education Project, and the Arts and Crafts Society.

He has been a development representative working part-time for OSU in the university's Portland office.

The first recipient of the Heart of Gold award was John Fenner, long-time Corvallis attorney and adviser to the OSU Foundation.

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John Irving, 541-737-1760