OSU Foundation Names Pat Reser Lifetime Trustee
CORVALLIS, Ore. — Patricia Valian Reser received 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 the state of Oregon through his service and philanthropy,” said Shawn L. Scoville, President and CEO of the OSU Foundation. “Beyond her role as a trustee of the OSU Foundation and her 10 years on the foundation’s executive committee, she co-chaired the billion-dollar campaign for OSU and served as the first chairwoman of the board of directors. administration of the university.”
A 1960 graduate of 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 business . She is now chair of the board of the family business, based in Beaverton.
“Pat’s skills as a savvy business leader have made her an exceptionally valuable administrator. 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 the best of ourselves. And that’s what Pat did – for me, for our board, for our university.
Along with his family, Reser has made leadership donations to numerous university and athletic college facilities, including the expansion of Reser Stadium in 2005, improvements to the Gill Coliseum, and construction of the Sports Performance Center, Linus Pauling Science Center, and of Austin Hall, home of the College of Business. His philanthropy also supports students, programs, and faculty, including endowed faculty positions in chemistry, arts, entrepreneurship, and education.
At a Lifetime Trustee Award celebration held Feb. 24, OSU Acting President Becky Johnson recalled reaching out to Reser when she was named to the head of the 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 counting.”
Eric Schoenstein, Chairman of the OSU Foundation Board, thanked Reser. “I consider Pat the North Star of what I try to accomplish in my volunteer leadership, and I know many others would agree,” he said.
In video messages, U.S. Representative Oregon Suzanne Bonamici and Governor 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 involvement with Medical Teams International, a Tigard-based nonprofit.
“Pat helped 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. And thank you for your deep sense of caring – your desire to create opportunity for everyone through education, medical access, and the arts.