CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Bond and Barte Starker, co-owners of Corvallis-based Starker Forests Inc., have received the Oregon State University Alumni Association's highest award in recognition of their work to keep alive a family tradition of responsible land management, ethical business leadership and service to the university, the community and the state.

They received the E.B. Lemon Alumni Award, named for the late, well-known student, registrar, dean of administration and volunteer at OSU.

In addition, Allen Leggett, who lives part-time in Corvallis and in Emeryville, Calif., received the Jean and C.H. "Scram" Graham Leadership Award, which honors individuals who promote and assist the alumni association in its service to the university. The late Grahams were long-time leaders and volunteers for the association.

The association bestowed its awards in a ceremony titled "In Honored Footsteps" April 29 at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on campus. George Edmonston Jr., retired editor of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine, served as master of ceremonies and OSU President Edward Ray and OSUAA President Penny Atkins addressed the gathering and presented the awards.

Bond Starker is a 1969 graduate of the OSU College of Forestry. He is president, chairman and co-owner of Starker Forests, and has numerous civic and industry affiliations, including the Corvallis-Benton Chamber Coalition, the Old Mill Center for Children and Families, the Oregon Forest Industries Council, the Oregon Tree Farm Committee as well as many OSU committees and boards.

Barte Starker graduated from the OSU College of Forestry in 1972, and is executive vice president and co-owner of Starker Forests. He has volunteered with the Benton County Fair Foundation, the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, the Oregon Board of Forestry and dozens of other organizations. The Oregon Society of American Foresters named Barte Forester of the Year in 1990.

True to form, and to the amusement and delight of the large audience at the ceremony, the Starker brothers spent their entire joint acceptance speech asking various attendees to stand and be recognized for their help in making the two brothers and Starker Forests a success in business, family life and public service. Their late grandfather, T.J. Starker, a 1910 graduate of OSU, won the first E.B. Lemon Alumni Award in 1981, and an aunt, Jean Starker Ross, OSU Class of 1942, won it in 2001. She was at the Friday event.

The Graham Leadership award winner, Allen Leggett, is a tireless volunteer for the alumni association and the university. For the Class of 1960 Golden Jubilee celebration, Leggett was instrumental in raising more than $90,000 for a class gift to support the construction of a new university gateway on the south side of campus, scheduled to be installed later this year. In 2009 he helped set a world land speed record for stock, vintage Volkswagen Beetles, racing with a couple of his OSU Kappa Sigma brothers as the Beaver Geezers Racing team. Leggett told the crowd that he treasures his continuing connection to the university, and that he was tremendously moved and humbled by the recognition.

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Christi Kasten, 541-737-7857