CORVALLIS, Ore. – Patricia Valian Reser has been awarded the Lifetime Trustee award from the Oregon State University Foundation. The award is the foundation’s highest recognition for volunteer leaders.
“Pat Reser has made extraordinary contributions to Oregon State through her service and philanthropy,” said Shawn L. Scoville, OSU Foundation president and chief executive officer. “Beyond her role as an OSU Foundation trustee and her 10 years on the foundation’s executive committee, she co-chaired the billion-dollar Campaign for OSU and was the inaugural chair of the university’s own governing board.”
A 1960 graduate of the OSU College of Education, Reser taught in the Beaverton School District and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2019. She and her late husband, Al, grew Reser’s Fine Foods into an international company. She now serves as board chair of the family-owned business, which is based in Beaverton.
“Pat’s skills as a savvy business leader made her an exceptionally valuable trustee. But behind her strength in business is a gifted educator,” Scoville said. “The best teachers don’t just share important lessons. They inspire us to become our best selves. And that’s what Pat has done – for me, for our board, for our university.”
Along with her family, Reser has made leadership gifts to many academic and athletic university facilities, including the expansion of Reser Stadium in 2005, improvements to Gill Coliseum and construction of the Sports Performance Center, Linus Pauling Science Center and Austin Hall, home of the College of Business. Her philanthropy also supports students, programs and faculty, including endowed faculty positions in chemistry, the arts, entrepreneurship and education.
During a lifetime trustee award celebration held on Feb. 24, OSU Interim President Becky Johnson recalled reaching out to Reser when appointed to lead OSU.
“As expected, Pat was warm, reassuring and, as always, ended the conversation by saying, ‘Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help,’” Johnson said. “Well, Pat Reser has been helping OSU students, faculty and staff for many years, and it just keeps going.”
Eric Schoenstein, chair of the OSU Foundation board, thanked Reser. “I think of Pat as the North Star of what I try to achieve in my volunteer leadership, and I know many others would agree,” he said.
In video messages, Oregon U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Gov. Kate Brown noted that Reser’s commitment to philanthropy and service extends to her community and the world. They credited Reser as the driving force behind the creation of the new Patricia Reser Center for the Arts in Beaverton. Brown also cited Reser’s engagement with Medical Teams International, a Tigard-based nonprofit.
“Pat has helped to put Oregon on the map,” Brown said. “Pat, thank you for your example – as a business leader, volunteer and philanthropist. For your vision of what is possible, and your fearlessness in leading the way forward. And thank you for your deep sense of caring – your desire to create opportunities for everyone through education, medical access and the arts.”
About the OSU Foundation: The Foundation in its 75th year is a nonprofit organization that partners with Oregon State University to engage the OSU community, inspire investment and steward resources to enhance the university’s excellence and impact. The OSU Foundation publicly launched Believe It: The Campaign for Oregon State University on October 14, 2022. This campaign marks the university’s second fundraising campaign and its first to include specific engagement goals. Donors have already contributed $1 billion toward the $1.75 billion goal and have created nearly 500 new scholarship, fellowship and student support funds, an increase of 26% since the campaign began. The Foundation includes the OSU Alumni Association, which was created in 1873.
Laura Pizzo, 541-243-2738, [email protected].
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