CORVALLIS - Dwayne Foley, an executive with Northwest Natural Gas and its subsidiary companies, has been named director of Alumni Relations at Oregon State University, and also will serve as executive director of the OSU Alumni Association. He will begin his new position immediately.

Foley has been senior vice president for Northwest Natural Gas since 1990, overseeing the company's technical operations, including engineering and construction. He also has served as chairman and president of KB Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Northwest Natural Gas, since 1991.

He has held a variety of management positions with the company since joining its staff in 1967, following his graduation from OSU. He has a degree from Oregon State in mechanical engineering.

"We have a lot of ties to the university," Foley said. "One of our sons graduated from here, as did my wife, two of her three siblings, and her parents. There are a lot of exciting things going on at Oregon State and we're thrilled to be a part of it."

Though Foley won't officially retire from Northwest Natural Gas until September, he's received "the go-ahead from the CEO to take on this new venture."

Foley said the OSU Alumni Association will embrace three main concepts in the 21st century - awareness, value and cultivation.

"We need to continue to build awareness of Oregon State University and its achievements among alumni," he said, "and we also need to deliver value to them. That can be good experiences they have with the university, it can be educational content, or it may even go to the extent of providing logo merchandise and other goods and services.

"The final component is cultivating our alums for the ultimate harvest of that goodwill," Foley added. "And that harvest could be in the form of advocacy, financial gifts, student recruitment, or whatever else the university needs."

OSU President Paul Risser said Foley has a clear understanding of the importance to the university of a strong alumni organization.

"I am absolutely delighted that we will have Dwayne Foley at the helm of the Alumni Association," Risser said. "He has a tremendous track record of leadership, he's a visionary, and he can mobilize people to get things accomplished." As executive director of the OSU Alumni Association, Foley will provide management and supervision for developing and executing the policies, programs, and activities of the independent organization. He also will serve as director of the university's Office of Alumni Relations, providing leadership for alumni activities and collaborating with both the university leadership and the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Foley succeeds Don Wirth, who retired from both positions last year. Stephen Smith, the associate director of the OSU Alumni Association, has served as interim director.

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Orcilia Zuniga-Forbes, 541-737-4875