CORVALLIS - A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of the $45 million Kelley Engineering Center and the beginning of a new era of engineering education in Oregon will be held at Oregon State University on Saturday, Sept. 21, featuring several prominent dignitaries.

The keynote speaker is Craig Barrett, chief executive officer of Intel, who will be joined by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Shane Robison, chief technical officer of Hewlett Packard.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be in the Memorial Union Quad on the OSU campus, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will include live music, a research showcase, a high-tech animated "flythrough" of the new building, and a robot-assisted time capsule ceremony.

Also speaking will be OSU President Paul Risser; Ron Adams, dean of the OSU College of Engineering; Ben Westlund, Oregon state representative; Ryan Deckert, Oregon state senator; Terri Fiez, professor and head of the OSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Cherri Pancake, professor of computer science.

"The construction of the Kelley Engineering Center is a major step towards our goal of building at OSU one of the top-25 programs of engineering in the nation," Adams said. "This day is possible, in large part, because of the commitment of Martin and Judy Kelley, who share our vision of what this college can mean to the students of Oregon and the economic future of the state. And we hope all of our friends and alumni join us in this celebration, and see the very bright days ahead for engineering education in Oregon."

Kelley, an OSU engineering alumnus whose donation of $20 million towards this project was the largest cash gift in the history of OSU, will also be honored during a halftime ceremony on Saturday at the football game between OSU and Fresno State University.

The 146,000-square-foot Kelley Engineering Center will be designed and built with sustainable, "green" standards, and feature wireless classrooms, an e-café in the 4-story atrium, and research laboratory clusters designed for open communication and collaboration between students, faculty and industry partners. The Portland office of DPR Construction, Inc. will construct the building, which was designed by the architectural firm Yost Grube Hall, also of Portland.

Barrett, the keynote speaker, is one of the world leaders in the high technology industry and a long-time advocate for higher academic standards and improved educational programs in mathematics, science and engineering.

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Ron Adams, 541-737-3101