SALEM, Ore. - Salem will take on a decidedly orange hue Tuesday as Gov. John Kitzhaber proclaims April 12, 2011, "Oregon State University Day at the State Capitol," and the Beaver Nation assembles to meet with legislators, agency leaders and staff members on matters important to OSU.

The event is an opportunity for OSU students, alumni, faculty and staff to highlight the impact that OSU has on the economy and people of the state. OSU has more than 160,000 alumni, and serves the state through campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport and presences throughout Oregon of the OSU Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station and Forest Research Laboratory.

University supporters will speak with legislators about public funding for higher education and about the importance of allowing Oregon's public universities to control and invest the tuition that students pay in educational services, rather than funneling those monies into the state's general fund, as is now the practice.

OSU supporters are particularly invited to join students, alumni, faculty, staff and state government officials for a reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Galleria of the Oregon State Capitol building. As part of the reception, Benny Beaver will be on hand to pose with supporters for photos.

Earlier in the day, displays on OSU educational programs and research projects will be set up in the Galleria starting at 8 a.m.  At 10:30 a.m., OSU oceanographer Kelly Benoit-Bird, a 2010 winner of the MacArthur Foundation "genius award," will offer an invocation on the Senate Floor. The House Floor Session will feature a presentation by the OSU Chamber Choir, and the OSU ROTC Color Guard will perform, as well.

From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., a Health Fair with College of Pharmacy Students will take place at the Capitol. And at noon, there will be a Master of Public Policy Information Seminar for prospective students.

The Chamber Choir will perform in the Capitol Rotunda at 12:15 p.m. for a lunchtime musical treat. OSU political science professor Bill Lunch, who is also a political commentator for Oregon Public Broadcasting, will present, "The 2011 Oregon Legislative Session, So Far," at 2 p.m. in Hearing Room 50.

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Heather Bené, 541-737-4514