CORVALLIS - Oregon State University President Ed Ray will speak on the importance of academic excellence, student success and funding resources in his speech on Tuesday, Sept. 21, during the University Day celebration at LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus.

Ray's speech is part of the program that will launch the 2004-05 academic year. The program, which begins at 10 a.m. in the Austin Auditorium, includes award presentations to top faculty and staff at the university. Displays in the LaSells Stewart Center open at 9 a.m. and a continental breakfast runs from 9 to 11 a.m. There is a reception for award recipients following the program at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

"Fortunately, the adoption of the University Strategic Plan last winter has positioned us to act purposefully and quickly to move this university into the top 10 land grant universities in America," Ray said. "With the strategic plan to guide our direction and the implementation plan to track our progress, I want to focus on major elements of this year's agenda for action."

Ray said the strategic plan calls for the university to improve the quality of the academic programs, enhance the student experience inside and outside the classroom and increase the university's ability to generate resources to advance the mission.

In his speech, Ray will also make a call for open discussions on campus before budget decisions are made for next year.

A new award to be given out this year is the Karel J. H. Murphy Professional Faculty Leadership and Service Award. Its namesake, who is retiring in December after 30 years of service to the university, will receive the inaugural award. It was created to honor her and was conceived as a means of recognizing faculty who "unselfishly provide and model ongoing exceptional leadership and service to professional faculty and to OSU," according to the Professional Faculty Leadership Association.

Other award recipients include:

  • Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award - Bob Durst, Food Science and Technology.


  • Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award - Shane Brown, Civil Engineering.


  • OSU Award for Service to Persons with Disabilities - Tracy Bentley-Townlin, Services for Students with Disabilities.


  • OSU Exemplary Employee Awards - Paula J. Minear, Extended Campus; and Lamont Saunders, Malheur Experiment Station.


  • University Professional Development Award - Lorraine M. Borchers, Valley Library Access Services.


  • OSU Extended Education Faculty Achievement Award - Sally Bowman, Extension Family and Community Development; and Marvin D. Butler, Jefferson County Extension.


  • OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award - Todd Shechter, College of Engineering.


  • International Service Award - Bill Gerwick, Pharmaceutical Sciences.


  • Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award - Skip Rochefort, Chemical Engineering.


  • OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award - Donna A. Champeau, Public Health.


  • Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award - Rebecca L. Warner, Sociology.


  • D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award - Clara C. Pratt, Human Development and Family Sciences.


  • Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award - Leslie Davis Burns, Design and Human Environment.


  • OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award - Kathleen Dean Moore, Philosophy.

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Ed Ray, 541-737-4133