BEND, Ore. - A non-profit foundation dedicated to raising private funds to support higher education in central Oregon has been formed, according to Jay Casbon, the campus executive officer for the Oregon State University-Cascades Campus. A board of nine volunteer trustees, all of whom are local community leaders, will govern the new Cascades Campus Foundation.

The new organization is associated with the OSU Foundation, but all donations to the entity will be reserved solely for education, research and outreach programs in central Oregon.

"We want to assure the citizens of central Oregon that the money we raise and the programs we build as result of this foundation will support central Oregon," said Casbon. "We have a great board with members who are all committed to this region and committed to higher education. It is a great team with fabulous leadership."

The Cascades Campus Foundation Board of Trustees held its first meeting in August to initiate the foundation and elect officers. John Salzer of Sunriver will serve as president of the board. Salzer, now retired, is former executive director-international of the U.S.West telecommunications firm where he worked for 35 years. A 1966 OSU graduate with a degree in economics, Salzer will serve as president through July of 2006.

"For the first-year, we will be spending a lot of time educating people about the Cascades Campus and the foundation," Salzer said. "We will be planting the seed. I believe we can find a lot of people here, who aren't necessarily affiliated with OSU in Corvallis, but who are interested in supporting a four-year university in Central Oregon."

The board also elected Steve Hummel of Bend as vice president, a position he will hold through July 2006. Hummel is the chief technology officer at Accent Optical Technologies, a leading supplier of process control and measurement tools for optoelectronics and semiconductor industries worldwide.

All nine trustees will serve staggered terms of 1-3 years. The other members of the board are:

  • Jens Andersen of Bend, certified public accountant, Jones and Roth;
  • Dick Gervais of Bend, consultant, Resource Enterprise Group, 1956 OSU graduate;
  • Pat Gibford of Bend, president and CEO, Clear Choice Health Plans;
  • John Taylor of Bend, financial adviser, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 1968 OSU graduate;
  • Bob Thomas of Bend, President and Owner, Bob Thomas Chevrolet
  • Roger Vlach of Bend, first vice president-investments, Smith Barney, 1968, Ed.M., 1973 OSU;
  • Michael Wax of Bend, CEO, Deschutes Medical Products.
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    Jay Casbon, 541-322-3101