BEND, Ore. – The second academic building on the Oregon State University – Cascades campus will be named Edward J. Ray Hall, honoring Oregon State’s most recent past president. The building is under construction and scheduled to open to students in fall 2021.
Ray championed student access to higher education and the creation of a university campus in Central Oregon for more than a decade. His leadership led to the expansion of OSU-Cascades to a four-year university in 2015 and the opening of its campus in Bend in the fall of 2016.
Ray served as Oregon State’s president for 17 years through June 2020. He now is president emeritus and a professor of economics in the OSU College of Liberal Arts.
“Ed Ray’s contributions to OSU-Cascades and all of Central Oregon were transformational,” said OSU President F. King Alexander. “His tireless advocacy for advancing higher education in the region will benefit countless future generations of Central Oregonians, and bring innovation, problem-solving and economic advancement to their communities and all of Oregon.”
The building name was suggested by an anonymous donor who sought to acknowledge Ray’s leadership of OSU and his contributions in advancing OSU-Cascades. The donor gave $5 million to the OSU Foundation in 2017 towards a $10 million fundraising goal that helped secure state bonds for the building.
Names of Oregon State’s buildings are reviewed by a university committee of faculty, staff and students and recommended to OSU’s president for approval. In this case, the building’s name was approved by the chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees.
Edward J. Ray Hall is part of OSU-Cascades’ planned expansion to a 3,000 to 5,000 student campus to serve educational attainment goals in the region and state.
“I believe deeply in the future of OSU-Cascades as an engine of economic growth and social progress for Central Oregon and beyond,” Ray said. “The naming of this academic building is an honor I will cherish forever. As OSU’s past president, I focused on advancing access to higher education for all Oregonians, and advancing the university’s research and outreach mission in service to others. OSU-Cascades is essential to this mission.”
“I appreciate our donors’ generous contribution to this important academic building and their interest in recognizing President Emeritus Ray’s profound leadership,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “The donors’ and Dr. Ray’s shared vision will inspire our faculty, staff and students as we honor Central Oregon’s 30-year quest for a vibrant four-year university.”
When it opens to students, Edward J. Ray Hall will house classrooms, laboratories and makerspaces where students will collaborate with one other and with faculty. The spaces will support OSU-Cascades degree programs in engineering, kinesiology, outdoor products and other programs, as well as a new doctoral program in physical therapy. The building will also provide student study and gathering areas, and presentation space.
The 50,000 square-foot, net zero energy-ready building features cross-laminated timber construction and will draw heating and cooling from geothermal energy sources located beneath the campus. All future OSU-Cascades buildings will be heated and cooled using geothermal energy.
“I am grateful to the anonymous lead donor and to others who so generously contributed to this project. The building, and the vibrant learning community it supports, will be a fitting legacy to both the donors and to President Emeritus Ray,” said Shawn L. Scoville, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation.
About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by 2.5 million acres of mountains and high desert, OSU-Cascades is a top-tier research university where small classes accelerate faculty-student mentoring. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.