2023 Top 10 Stories

2023 has been a big year for Oregon State University. From groundbreaking research, to record enrollment and navigating the ever-changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics. Here are the top 10 stories of the past year.

10. Strategic Plan Unveiled

Oregon State University unveiled its next strategic plan, who goes into effect Jan. 1 and will guide the university through 2030. It seeks to position Oregon State as a university focused on big discoveries that drive big solutions, a university where every student graduates and a university that fuels a thriving world. It focuses on increasing research activity, improving graduation rates and increasing enrollment online and at OSU-Cascades in Bend.



9. Building a Better Battery for Energy Storage

Scientists led by an Oregon State University researcher have developed a new electrolyte that raises the efficiency of the zinc metal anode in zinc batteries to nearly 100%, a breakthrough on the way to an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for large-scale energy storage. The research is part of an ongoing global quest for new battery chemistries able to store renewable solar and wind energy on the electric grid for use when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing


8. Record Enrollment for 27th Consecutive Year

Oregon State University’s fall 2023 enrollment has reached a record for the 27th consecutive year, topping 36,000, with growth spread across its Corvallis and Bend campuses and Ecampus, its online education unit. With 36,636 students enrolled, up 1,397 students, or 4% over last year, Oregon State is the largest university in the state for the 10th consecutive year.


7. Underwater Robots to Explore Ice Shelves

Oregon State University researchers will lead a team of scientists and engineers on a three-year, $1.5 million NSF-funded project to develop and test a team of robots that could travel under ice shelves and collect critical measurements about the extent of ice cavities and surrounding ocean properties. The effort is designed to help advance underwater exploration in confined and hard-to-reach environments.


6. New Leader at OSU-Cascades

Sherman “Sherm” Bloomer, associate vice president of budget and resource planning at Oregon State University, became chancellor and dean of OSU-Cascades in Bend on May 1. Bloomer served as dean of OSU’s College of Science for 11 years prior to leading the university’s budget and resource planning office since 2012.


5. National Recognition for Research

In October, the White House announced that Oregon State University will be the leader of federally designated Tech Hubs focused on microfluidic technology for semiconductors and mass timber design and manufacturing. Earlier in the year Oregon State was selected to spearhead a $1 million National Science Foundation project to advance semiconductor technologies. The effort is part of the NSF’s new Regional Innovation Engines program.


4. Completing Reser Stadium Project

Construction was completed this summer on the $160.5 million rebuild of Reser Stadium, which includes a student Welcome Center and a 30,000-square-foot Health Center that’s a partnership between Corvallis-based Samaritan Health Services and OSU’s Student Health Services. Donors contributed more than $90 million to the Completing Reser Stadium effort.


3. Research Vessel Launch

The first of three new oceanographic research vessels dedicated to advancing marine science along U.S. coasts was launched in May. The ship, R/V Taani, is being constructed as part of a project, led by Oregon State University and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, to provide scientists with valuable new tools to study critical issues such as rapidly changing ocean conditions and human impacts on the marine environment.


2. Gravitational Waves Breakthrough

Gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of time-space predicted by Albert Einstein more than a century ago, are permeating the universe at low frequencies, according to a multiyear National Science Foundation project led by Oregon State University scientists. Evidence of the gravitational waves, whose oscillations are measured in years and decades, was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters in June.


1. Athletic Conference Realignment

After 10 universities gave notice they were withdrawing from the Pac-12 Conference, Oregon State and Washington State University initiated legal action to confirm the governance structure of the conference, gain access to business information and protect the conference’s assets.