CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University Alumni Association announced Monday that John P. Valva will become its next executive director effective July 22. He also will serve as vice president of alumni relations at Oregon State.

Valva brings more than two decades of senior leadership experience in alumni relations in public higher education to OSU. Since 2010, he has served as executive director of alumni and constituent affairs at the University of California system, where he has coordinated constituent engagement communications and alumni programs across the 10 University of California campuses. 

“We are excited to bring a leader of this caliber to OSU,” said Wade Westhoff, president of the alumni association board and a 1993 OSU graduate. “The alumni association is particularly focused on increasing opportunities for alumni, friends and parents to be involved with the university. John will bring great energy and resourcefulness to this work.”

Valva, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and government at UC Berkeley and his master’s in management from the University of San Francisco, oversaw alumni engagement at UC San Diego and alumni marketing and revenue generation at UC Berkeley prior to his work with the UC system office. He said he is honored to support the ongoing effort to engage OSU alumni.

“I believe fervently in the mission and role of a public research university, and how Oregon State University positively reflects the values of the state and region,” Valva said. “OSU alumni are successful, proud and loyal. Their contributions to their communities are a powerful extension of OSU’s impact across Oregon and around the world.”

Valva said he also is impressed with OSU’s growing academic and research profile and is eager to help support that success. 

“John Valva has the experience and expertise to ensure that Oregon State’s alumni programs support the university’s mission as a 21st-century internationally recognized research university,” said Oregon State President Ed Ray. “OSU continues to increase its reach across Oregon, nationally and globally as the impact of the university’s academic and research programs grows. As the number of our alumni increases worldwide, I see even greater meaningful connections to the university for alumni wherever they live.”

The OSU Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization that supports the university by connecting alumni and friends with the university and with one another. From its base in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, the association publishes the Oregon Stater magazine; organizes gatherings wherever Beavers live, work and play; supports future alumni with services to current students; helps Beavers of all ages launch and improve their careers; and operates joint programs with OSU’s colleges to provide alumni services tailored to the needs of their graduates.

In 2017 the association voted to integrate itself with the OSU Foundation to better coordinate their mutual efforts in support of Oregon State and its friends and alumni. Together, the organizations have more than 170 employees in offices in Corvallis, Portland and Bend.

“We are delighted to welcome John to the OSU community,” said Mike Goodwin, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. “His senior leadership experience will help us strengthen our integrated model, and grow meaningful volunteer and engagement experiences for OSU’s 189,000 alumni around the world.”

Valva’s wife, Hanna, is a native of Corvallis and a 1997 Oregon State graduate, now working in the financial services sector. With extensive family connections in the area, Valva has visited Corvallis many times and often joined his wife at Oregon State football and basketball games.

Valva succeeds Kathy Bickel, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

Alumni Association

About the OSU Alumni Association: The Alumni Association was founded in 1873 and has been in continuous service since that time. Based in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, the association bridges a global community of over 215,000 Oregon State alumni, and its engaged community of volunteers and supporters make possible events, scholarships, career development and specialized alumni services that make OSU a place of lifelong learning and belonging. In 2017, the OSU Foundation and OSU Alumni Association were integrated, with a mission to partner with the university to engage our communities, inspire investment and steward resources to enhance the university’s excellence and impact. Read more at

Story By: 

Molly Brown, 541-737-3602, [email protected]


Molly Brown, 541-737-3602, [email protected]


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