Jun 10, 2009

Gary Fish, who transformed a small brewpub in downtown Bend into the top-selling brewery in Oregon and Washington, will present the key address at Oregon State University - Cascades commencement.  Fish is president of Deschutes Brewery, Inc. in Bend, and a leading figure across Central Oregon’ business and philanthropic landscape.  

Becky Johnson, who was recently named vice president in charge of the OSU-Cascades Campus, said, “Gary reflects the true spirit of Central Oregon.  His entrepreneurship and commitment to this community have created a legacy for all of us.  We are proud to have him address our graduates and are sure that they and their families will find inspiration and optimism in his message.”

OSU-Cascades 2009 commencement comes less than a month after university officials learned that the State would continue to fund the campus into the 2009-2011 biennium.  In the weeks prior, legislators considered closing the campus as they addressed the state’s budget shortfall.  The 2009 Class includes 189 students who will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees; several of whom met with legislators and members of the media during the budget discussions.
 
Fish opened the Deschutes Brewery & Public House in 1988.  In its first year, the pub produced 800 barrels of beer.  Today Deschutes Brewery has pubs in Bend and Portland, and its brewery distributes beer in 14 western states, selling about 180,000 barrels annually.

In 1999 Fish was named Bend Chamber Citizen of the Year. He is president of Sagebrush Classic, Inc., past president of the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, the Bend Chamber of Commerce, the Bend Downtowners, and the Oregon Brewers Guild.  Fish was given the Community Service award in 2001 and named Restaurateur of the Year in 2003 by the Oregon Restaurant Association.   He is an ex-officio board member of the Beer Institute and is the past chair of the Brewers Association of America, America’s oldest brewing trade association.  He currently serves on the board of the Brewers Association.

OSU-Cascades commencement will be held in Drake Park on June 13, 2009.  The program will begin at 2:00 p.m. and a reception will follow.   

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About the OSU-Cascades Campus – Located in Bend, Ore., OSU-Cascades is the first branch campus in the Oregon University System.  OSU-Cascades features small class sizes and one-on-one mentoring by outstanding faculty in such areas as Business Administration, Education, Tourism and Outdoor Leadership, and graduate programs.