CORVALLIS, Ore.--An Oregon State University graduate who coined the phrase “watchable wildlife” has left an estate gift worth more than $1.5 million to the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, permanently endowing the Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife chair and an annual scholarship fund.

Bob Mace died in November of 2006; he was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis.

The gift extends the financial support the Maces provided OSU during their lives, enabling the university to continue research and promotion of issues related to “watchable wildlife” – the phrase Bob Mace first used in 1979 to describe small animals and birds, which until then, had been called “non-game.”

Mace, a 1942 OSU fisheries and wildlife graduate, was the deputy director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at the time, and the phrase he coined has permanently changed the way people thought of birds and small animals – everything from raccoons to salamanders to butterflies. It is now used extensively by government wildlife agencies on the local, state and federal level.

“Bob believed that a more positive way to refer to these species – so many of which are admired by nature lovers – would foster the respect they deserved,” said Bruce Dugger, an assistant professor at OSU who holds the Mace Watchable Wildlife Chair.

Starting in 1997, Mace and his wife, Phyllis, a 1943 graduate of the OSU College of Science, made annual gifts to support a faculty position and scholarships in watchable wildlife at the university. Their estate gift expands that support creating an endowment for the Watchable Wildlife Chair and an annual scholarship fund for students majoring in fisheries and wildlife.

The chair provides annual resources for the faculty member to use for research and outreach on issues related to "watchable wildlife," said Dan Edge, head of OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. The Mace Watchable Wildlife Chair is a five-year appointment.

"The chair will have flexibility as to how he or she will use those resources," he said.

As the holder of the Mace chair, Dugger focuses much of his research on wetland birds and is conducting workshops on wetlands management for wildlife. He also helped established the Mace Watchable Wildlife website, which includes a roster of “citizen science” opportunities and, for the first time, compiles on a single website a range of watchable wildlife options throughout Oregon. The website address is

The Maces’ son, Richard, said his parents’ charitable contributions enhance the profound impact his father had on Oregon’s natural resources.

"It does my heart good to know that this endowment and scholarship fund are having a real impact and that they are carrying on our father’s legacy," said Richard Mace, who is also an OSU graduate.

The Maces also donated a portion of their estate to the Jackson County Fairgrounds to build the Robert and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Center.

Oregon State University officially launched “The Campaign for OSU” on Oct. 26. Guided by OSU’s strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen Oregon, and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $350 million has been committed to date, including more than $52 million toward a $100 million goal for scholarship and fellowship support for students.

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Dan Edge,