Scholarship will honor OSU-Cascades student killed in mountaineering accident

A gift from the family of Joel Tranby has created a scholarship fund for students at OSU-Cascades who demonstrate financial need.
Nov. 30, 2023

The family of an Oregon State University - Cascades student killed in a mountaineering accident in July has committed more than $55,000 to create an endowed scholarship for students in financial need at OSU-Cascades.

The Joel Tranby Memorial Scholarship honors the life of Joel Tranby, a student at OSU-Cascades who died in an accident on North Sister in the Cascade Range just outside Bend.

The gift was made possible by friends and relatives of the Tranby family who contributed to a GoFundMe campaign created to support the family and organized by the Bend Firefighters Community Assistance Program. The family opted to devote the funds to establish the scholarship administered by the OSU Foundation.

“Joel lived a full life dedicated to Christ, leading by example, serving others, always learning, and having an adventurous spirit. We are honored that Joel's legacy will live on and be able to contribute to the betterment of others attending OSU-Cascades," said David Tranby, Joel’s father.

Students at OSU-Cascades with financial need and who are residents of Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties will be eligible for the scholarship. Preference will be given to students who are graduates of Mountain View High School, where Tranby graduated with honors in 2020.

The younger Tranby spent nearly all of his life in Bend. He worked and volunteered in programs that supported youth, as a team member at a summer camp for special needs children and with the Mountain View High School Nordic ski team as a volunteer coach and assistant timer.

When he died, he was studying business administration and was slated to earn a bachelor’s degree after the fall 2023 term. He was a scholarship recipient and worked while in college, with the goal to graduate without debt.

OSU-Cascades awarded his degree posthumously.

“I see the transformative power of scholarships on a daily basis,” said Jane Reynolds, associate dean for enrollment management. “The Tranby family’s gift will have a meaningful impact, honoring the life of their son in perpetuity and supporting local OSU-Cascades students who need financial support.”

To contribute to the scholarship fund visit

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 mountains, forest and high desert, OSU-Cascades is a highly innovative campus of a top-tier land grant research university, offering small classes that accelerate faculty-student mentoring and experiential learning. 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.