CORVALLIS, Ore. - Two prominent awards are being presented to Oregon State University alumni next month during the Oregon State Alumni Association's Spring Awards Celebration.
Rockne "Rocky" Freitas, chancellor of the University of Hawai'i at West O'ahu, has been named 2014 recipient of the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award. Penny Yano Atkins of Caldwell, Idaho, is the recipient of the Jean & C.H. "Scram" Graham Leadership Award.
The Lemon award honors alumni "who make significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments and careers bring acclaim to the university." It is the highest recognition granted by the association.
Freitas is a Beaver football and National Football League great who graduated from OSU in 1968 with a bachelor's in animal science. He went on to earn master's and doctoral degrees in education from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and then built a distinguished second career in higher education.
Before being named chancellor of the West O'ahu campus, he was vice president for student affairs and university and community relations for the University of Hawai'i System. He also was vice president and executive director of the Ke Ali'i Pauahi Foundation; held leadership positions at Kamehameha Schools and was a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He is in the Hawai'i Sports Hall of Fame and the OSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Named for a former alumni director and his wife - who worked and volunteered on behalf of the association and OSU for almost their entire lives - the Jean & C.H. "Scram" Graham Leadership Award honors individuals who give exemplary service to the alumni association.
Atkins, '79, is a member of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees, is a College of Business graduate who served on the alumni association's board of directors from 2003-13, including terms in the crucial positions of treasurer and president.
Contributing in many ways, she established a benchmark for service during her decade on the OSUAA volunteer leadership board. Since stepping down and moving on to her position as an OSU Foundation trustee, she has continued to help the association serve OSU friends and alumni in and around Boise, Idaho.
She and her husband, Gary Atkins, live in Caldwell and are members of the A.L. Strand Society.
Freitas and Atkins will be recognized at the alumni association's Spring Awards Celebration on April 25 at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on campus. Tickets are available at www.osualum.com/springawards2014.
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Kate Sanders, 541-737-6220