BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — A new scholarship fund totaling more than $450,000 will support Oregon State University – Cascades students with financial need and honor the legacy of Becky Johnson, who served as vice president of OSU-Cascades for 13 years and is currently OSU’s interim president.
The Becky Johnson and Lori Elkins Endowed Scholarship Fund is named after Johnson and her wife. Donors to the scholarship fund, many of whom are Central Oregon community members, made contributions through the OSU Foundation totaling $467,730 as of July 31.
The scholarship honors Johnson and Elkin’s support of OSU-Cascades students with financial need through personal gifts to programs such as the student-run food pantry.
“Becky’s leadership of OSU-Cascades and OSU has been transformative, and now we’ll see many OSU-Cascades students’ lives transformed because of her impact and her vision for an innovative branch campus,” said Andrew Ketsdever, interim vice president of OSU-Cascades. “We owe Becky and Lori, and so many generous donors, our thanks and appreciation.”
Gifts to the scholarship fund have ranged from $5 to $50,000. Scholarship match programs offered through the OSU Provost’s Office will provide an additional $12,000 for every new $50,000 gift contributed to the Johnson and Elkins scholarship fund and other qualifying scholarship funds at OSU.
“Lori and I are very grateful for the incredible generosity of so many donors and supporters for OSU-Cascades students in need,” said Johnson. “During my many years at OSU and OSU-Cascades, I saw firsthand how scholarships made higher education possible for students and transformed their lives. We couldn’t be more pleased that this scholarship in our names will help deserving students gain access to OSU-Cascades.”
Johnson led OSU-Cascades from 2009 to 2021 and championed efforts to secure state and philanthropic funding that helped transform it from a degree transfer program to a four-year university campus that opened in 2016. During her tenure, enrollment at OSU-Cascades nearly tripled to almost 1,400 students. The campus is planned to serve a projected 3,000 to 5,000 students.
She also oversaw a campus expansion plan that involved designing and developing a 128-acre campus that is transforming a former pumice mine and landfill that were once considered unusable lands.
“Becky, with her calm demeanor, lack of pretense, her faith in her colleagues and her proclivity to always look forward, led the establishment of a successful four-year university in Central Oregon and helped guide OSU during transitions when we needed her most,” said Shawn L. Scoville, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. “We are forever grateful to Becky and Lori, and to the donors who honored them in such a meaningful way by establishing this endowed scholarship to support OSU-Cascades students.”
To make a gift to the Becky Johnson and Lori Elkins Endowed Scholarship Fund for OSU-Cascades students visit beav.es/johnson-elkins-scholarship.
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