CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who faces the challenge of leading Oregon's economic recovery, will deliver the annual Gov. Tom McCall Memorial Lecture at Oregon State University on Wednesday, May 25.
His talk, "Challenge to Change," begins at 7 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center. It is free and open to the public.
In his lecture, Kitzhaber will outline how Oregon is taking a different path than the rest of the nation to revitalize its economy by focusing on sustainability and innovation. He will discuss what he calls "the Oregon example" - a way to create a vibrant future by focusing on clean energy and green jobs, while transforming systems such as healthcare and education.
Kitzhaber, 64, is the 37th governor of Oregon. He previously served as governor from 1995 to 2003, and became the first person to be elected to the office three times when he was re-elected to a third term in 2010.
He moved with his family to Oregon at age 11, and graduated from South Eugene High School in 1965. After earning his bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College, he returned to Oregon to study medicine at the University of Oregon Medical School (now OHSU). Upon becoming a doctor, he practiced emergency room medicine in Roseburg from 1974 to 1988.
Kitzhaber's interest in health care public policy, the livelihoods of rural Oregonians and Oregon's natural heritage compelled him to seek public service. He first won election to the Oregon Legislature in 1978, and served a term in the Oregon House of Representatives. In 1980, he won election to the Oregon State Senate, and served three terms.
The OSU lectureship is named after Tom McCall, who was Oregon's governor from 1967-75.
This will be Kitzhaber's second appearance in this lecture series, which continues a tradition of Oregon governors speaking in the series. Other governors who delivered the lecture while in office have included Ted Kulongoski, 2003; Kitzhaber, 1995; and Barbara Roberts, 1991. Former Gov. Bob Straub delivered the 1989 lecture, and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden spoke in 1996.
Notable speakers from different careers have included Washington Post columnists David Broder and William Raspberry; CBS journalists Terry Drinkwater, Richard Threlkeld and Betsy Aaron; Oregon political analyst Floyd McKay; Dennis Dimick of National Geographic magazine; and environmental law attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The McCall Lecture is presented by the OSU College of Liberal Arts.
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David Bernell, 541-737-6281