Points of Pride

Oregon State University – Cascades was established in 2001 and opened its new campus in fall 2016. Below, by academic year, are some of the most notable achievements in OSU-Cascades' history, including events leading to its founding.


  • Degree seeking students increase 2% over the previous year and students enroll in significantly more courses.

  • OSU-Cascades is Oregon’s first public university to launch a doctor of physical therapy degree

  • Newest academic building named Edward J. Ray Hall, honoring OSU’s past president

  • Annual research funding at $3.4 million is second highest in campus history

  • Erika McCalpine named first executive director of strategic diversity initiatives

  • TRIO program launches, providing support services for students in need
  • Annual research funding at OSU-Cascades is second highest in history, contributing solutions to local and global challenges


  • Fall enrollment records 27% increase in first-year students, 16% increase in transfer students over previous year, despite challenges of pandemic
  • EDCO ranks OSU-Cascades as Central Oregon’s #10 top employer
  • Vice President Becky Johnson tapped by OSU Board of Trustees to serve as interim and first female president of OSU
  • Dean of Academic Affairs Andrew Ketsdever selected to serve as campus interim vice president
  • Oregon State Legislature approves $13.8m in state-backed bonds for Student Success Center, leveraging students’ $5m contribution
  • Oregon State Legislature approves $1m in pandemic relief funding to launch Little Kits Early Learning & Child Care Center in partnership with COCC to help address regional child care crisis
  • A sustainable alternative to steel/concrete, Edward J. Ray Hall is first campus building to utilize cross-laminated timber
  • Geothermal confirmed as sustainable energy source for heating and cooling buildings on expanded campus
  • Laboratory for the American Conversation report helps guide public health messaging during COVID-19 pandemic to keep communities safer
  • In response to rising cases, students, faculty and staff support OSU TRACE Community COVID-19 sampling in Redmond
  • Innovation Co-Lab student interns partner with COIC to build data platform, distribute $5m in pandemic relief to 1,600 businesses, nonprofits and agencies
  • TRIO Student Support Services launches to help first-generation and Pell Grant eligible students and students with disabilities succeed
  • Dam Proud Day raises $39,226 primarily from Central Oregon community for scholarships, student emergency fund and DEI Lab
  • Erika McCalpine launches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lab with founding gift from John Teller and Amy Tykeson
  • Erika McCalpine co-founds Love Your Neighbor, facilitates community conversations advancing racial justice
  • Todd Montgomery co-produces “Tech Trek” documentary exploring technology in hospitality industry, debuted on OPB TV
  • MFA faculty author Beth Alvarado wins 2020 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction for “Anxious Attachments”
  • Ellen Waterston, award-winning author and poet, joins MFA as faculty author
  • OSU-Cascades joins new OSU Center for Outdoor Recreation Economy to support $788 billion U.S. industry
  • Honors College student Rya Hickey named Source Weekly Women of Year Young Hero for efforts supporting racial justice


  • Fall enrollment records 28% increase in first-year students over previous year
  • Mobility Lab concludes first pilot study, focused on app-based Ride Bend transit service
  • In response to pandemic, students, faculty and staff support OSU TRACE Community COVID-19 sampling in Bend.
  • First doctoral degree announced, doctor of physical therapy, to launch fall 2021
  • Arts, media and technology degree launches
  • Engineering science degree launches, first at a West Coast public university
  • Outdoor product degree launches
  • Elizabeth Marino awarded $750,000 by National Science Foundation to address relocation of climate refugees
  • Erika McCalpine receives OSU Frances Dancy Hooks diversity award
  • Erika McCalpine co-founds Love Your Neighbor, facilitates community conversations advancing racial justice


  • Fall enrollment records largest first-year class, and overall younger and more diverse student population
  • A Degree Partnership Program launched with COCC expands efforts to guide students to four-year degree completion
  • $500,000 gift from hoteliers Curt and Robin Baney doubles fund, creating first faculty endowed position to achieve $1 million in philanthropic support
  • $62,500 gift from Seven Peaks Ventures supports computer science faculty scholar Yong Bakos
  • Funding awarded to OSU-Cascades researchers since 2001 totals $13 million
  • ESE professor Bahman Abbasi receives $2m research award, largest in campus history
  • Social scientist and researcher Elizabeth Marino appointed by White House as delegate to Second Arctic Science Ministerial
  • Beaver Champion Award, OSU’s top honor given to Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning for leadership in building campus
  • Discovery Day, a community festival, debuted
  • Mobility Lab launches with support from City of Bend and St. Charles Health System to study transportation solutions
  • Tykeson Hall earns design award from American Institute of Architects Portland
  • Bike share program expands in Bend to eight stations and 55 bikes


  • $5 million anonymous gift propels campus to next phase of expansion
  • Gift of $1 million from Grace-Bio Labs founder and president Charles McGrath supports future STEAM building
  • $500,000 gift from Bend Foundation and $75,000 gift from Brooks resources support future academic building
  • Philanthropy effort to match state capital funding exceeds $10 million goal
  • Acquisition of 72-acre former county landfill expands campus footprint to 128 acres
  • Oregon State Legislature approves capital request for second, STEAM academic building
  • City Council unanimously approves campus master plan
  • Innovation Co-Lab launches
  • First cohort of OSU Honors College students begin studies 
  • Online hospitality minor program launches
  • Layman Fellowship expands undergraduate research opportunities
  • Alumni of OSU-Cascades exceed 3,800
  • Community leader and education champion Jane Evey Teater honored with Distinguished Service Award


  • Gift of $250,000 from Hydro Flask allows development of bachelor’s degree in outdoor products
  • Robert and Curt Baney Faculty Scholar Fund for Teaching Excellence in Hospitality Management established with $500,000 gift
  • Gift of $75,000 establishes the Roundhouse Foundation Faculty Scholar of Science Education
  • $373,877 Central Oregon Health Council grant helps create student health services delivery model
  • Campus-wide biomass energy study funded through $193,910 USDA Forest Service grant
  • Energy systems researcher Chris Hagen recognized as a top young educator in U.S.
  • Campus landscape includes 1,200 native plants that were harvested from site and replanted back onto campus
  • Student housing and dining complex recognized with national Innovator Award
  • Conference Services program initiated
  • University-initiated bikeshare program expands to private sector, downtown Bend
  • University-Community Partnership Agreement initiated
  • Tykeson Hall opens; OSU-Cascades is first public university campus in Oregon to open in 50 years
  • Former Bend Research CEO and president Rod Ray honored with Distinguished Service Award


  • Community volunteer Loren Irving honored with Distinguished Service Award
  • Faculty awarded total of 20 research grants totaling $1.5m
  • Connections to underserved students furthered through Better Together Latino Success Initiative in Madras, Prineville
  • Long range development planning process for expanded campus begins, with anticipated completion by March 2017
  • Energy Systems Engineering degree fourth of its kind in nation to receive accreditation from ABET
  • Campus governance structure aided by new Operations, Academic and Co-Curricular Councils
  • Model to assess future academic degree programs created, adapted from GE McKinsey Product Portfolio and Academic Program Portfolio Model
  • Hospitality Management degree launches
  • Letter of Intent with Deschutes County opens door to explore reclamation of former demolition landfill
  • HDFS professor Shannon Lipscomb awarded $1.5m grant, largest in campus history
  • Diversity scholarships funds increased through gifts from Bank of the Cascades, others
  • More than 50% of students are recipients of federal Pell Grant, an indicator of high financial need
  • Over 17% of all student represent as a US minority, including 7.3% Hispanic students
  • Historic first freshman class has average entering GPA of 3.45; 20% identify as US minority; 10% are Hispanic


  • Class of 2015 sets record as largest in campus history
  • MFA student Austin Anderson wins national AWP award
  • 108 community members, leaders, experts engage in campus planning
  • 92 of 115 volunteer committee recommendations for future campus incorporated into policy and planning
  • 185 veterans served by campus to date
  • Energy Systems Engineering professor Chris Hagen receives $500,000 DOE award


  • Research funding tops $2.5m
  • Fundraising for capital expansion exceeds $4m goal
  • Purchase of 10-acre parcel finalizes
  • OUS State Board of Higher Education approves purchase of two parcels totaling 56 acres in Bend for future campus location
  • Fall enrollment increases 17% over previous year
  • Accountancy and computer science degrees launch
  • Counseling Clinic launches for community members and veterans
  • Poet and MFA director Emily Carr nominated for Pushcart Prize
  • 330 undergraduate and 129 graduate students participate in internships


  • Oregon State Legislature approves $16m in capital funding
  • Fundraising to demonstrate community support for four-year expansion exceeds $1m goal
  • OUS State Board of Higher Education endorses expansion to four-year programs
  • Campus Expansion Advisory Committee formed
  • MOU with Bend Park & Recreation District offers opportunity to co-develop 11-acre site
  • Minority student population increases from 9% to 14%
  • Commencement moves from Drake Park to Les Schwab Amphitheatre
  • Number of degrees awarded exceeds 2,000 mark
  • First Energy Systems Engineering students graduate
  • Biology, General Science, Psychology degrees transition to OSU offerings
  • Double degree in Sustainability launches
  • Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing launches
  • MAT Advanced Mathematics and Integrated Science endorsements launch
  • FORCE Lab opens demonstrating public-private partnership
  • Natural Resources professor Ron Reuter named 2012 Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor
  • Energy Systems Engineering professor Chris Hagen receives $700,000 DOE award
  • MAT professor Kathleen Cowin elected to boards of Northwest Association of Teacher Educators and American Educational Research Association
  • 20 students hired for work study positions on- and off-campus
  • Club sports in skiing and cycling launch in partnership with MBSEF
  • Ski team competes at USCSSA national championships
  • OSU-Cascades Gear Store launches


  • Learning Communities create four-year university experience for first-year cohorts
  • Enrollment increases 53% over five previous years
  • Exercise and Sport Science degree launches
  • HDFS professor Shannon Lipscomb receives international media attention for parenting research
  • Marina Martinez receives Oregon Career Development Association Esther Matthews Award recognizing  lifetime achievement
  • Oregon University System endorses expansion of OSU-Cascades from 2+2 to four-year program


  • OSU-Cascades celebrates 10th Anniversary
  • OSU-Cascades leads OUS campuses with 16% FTE fall enrollment increase
  • Spring term lower-division enrollment record set with 230 freshmen and sophomores
  • Energy Engineering Management degree launches
  • American Studies degree launches
  • Student government joins Oregon Student Association
  • OSU-Cascades embarks on  $7.5m fundraising campaign
  • State Legislature authorizes use of $2m in lottery bonds for purchase of a building for graduate programs and research
  • Tykeson Family Charitable Trust gives $250,000 to establish Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar in Energy Engineering Management
  • First Annual Alumni Celebration held


  • Fall enrollment jumps 20% to 611 students, the largest percentage increase in headcount of any campus in OUS system. Additional 162 freshmen and sophomores enrolled at COCC
  • Winter enrollment increases 17%, with a 19% increase in freshmen and sophomores enrolled at COCC
  • Diversity within student body increases to 10%
  • Hospitality Management program, an option within OSU Business Administration program, launches
  • OSU-Cascades partners with OSU Alumni Association to launch Science Pub series


  • Spring enrollment reaches record high, with 18% increase in students taking courses
  • $1 million in scholarships awarded to date through OSU-Foundation
  • OSU offers MAT in Secondary Teaching
  • UO professor John Leahy awarded European Union Marie Curie Fellowship
  • OSU professor Julie Elston awarded College of Business Newcomb Fellow
  • OSU professor David Knuff awarded College of Business Newcomb Associate
  • OSU Bridge to Success program awards $85,000 in scholarships
  • OSU Business students enter American Advertising Federation - NSAC competition,  industry’s leading student competition
  • OSU Counseling professor Kathy Biles elected president-elect of the Oregon School Counselor Association
  • OSU Natural Resources professor Ron Reuter selected as a fellow of the International Canadian Studies Institute


  • OSU-Cascades awards 1,200th degree
  • OSU-Cascades students participate in international and study abroad program at higher rate than other state regional schools
  • OSU offers dual degree in International Studies
  • UO Psychology program establishes Bend Behavioral Research Center at Chandler Lab
  • OSU business students form Student Marketing Group, bridging gap between theory and practice
  • OSU graduate student teachers serve in 20 of 26 elementary schools in Central Oregon school districts
  • OSU Natural Resources instructor Matt Shinderman, students complete carbon footprint for City of Bend
  • OSU English professor Neil Browne named finalist for Oregon Book of the Year Award
  • OSU professor Henry Sayre’s six-volume humanities text, the best selling in the country, awarded Best Design for a Book Series by New York Book Designers
  • UO professor John Leahy initiates breast cancer detection project with OIT and Mexican institute of Technology
  • OSU Business professor, Julie Elston awarded Fulbright Fellowship to Study Impact of Science on Policies
  • OSU professor Kreg Lindberg  appointed to Deschutes Provincial Advisory Committee by US Secretary of Agriculture
  • OSU Art professor Sandy Brooke advocated for Culture, Heritage, Art, Movies and Preservation initiative for Oregon Arts Commission


  • OSU-Cascades awards 1,000th degree
  • First elections held for new student government association
  • UO Archaeology professor Dennis Jenkins and colleagues discover pre-Clovis DNA, more than 14,000 years old, at Paisley Caves
  • OSU assistant professor Kate Gronemyer honored as an Emerging Leader by the American Library Association
  • OSU Distinguished Professor of Art Henry Sayre named to Oregon Arts Commission by Governor Kulongoski
  • Oregon University System 2025 goals include "Develop service models for regions projected to grow significantly, particularly ... Bend”


  • OSU offers MAT in Elementary/Early Childhood Teaching
  • UO Biology instructor Matt Orr receives $240,000 private gift to establish Field Studies Program in Ecological Restoration
  • National Undergraduate Literature Conference accepts papers for presentation from three OSU-Cascades students


  • Cascades Hall goes wireless
  • Annual Distinguished Students program initiated
  • Student Life programming launched
  • UO launches BA/BS in Psychology
  • OSU-Cascades Foundation established


  • OSU offers MS in Counseling, with options in school and community counseling
  • UO initiates BS in Mathematics, emphasis on secondary education teaching


  • OSU offers BS in Tourism and Outdoor Leadership, the first program of its kind in Oregon
  • UO receives funding from Redmond and USFS for archeological assessment of Redmond caves, performed primarily by OSU-Cascades students


  • OSU-Cascades opens its doors. In spite of 9/11 crisis and budget reductions, eight academic majors serve 363 students
  • In addition to OSU, degree-offering partners include University of Oregon and Eastern Oregon University
  • UO offers degrees in General Science and General Social Science
  • OSU selected to create and manage new branch campus


  • Oregon University System evaluates alternative models; assumes “small regional baccalaureate institution is the customary goal” within 15 years; seeks proposals to lead campus


  • Oregon University System Chancellor’s regional advisory board recommends creating a “capstone” university to partner with Central Oregon Community College


  • Education Team 100 evaluates multiple models to increase and expand degree offerings


  • University Center created to assume Consortium for Higher Education role, expand degree offerings and improve academic and student services


  • Central Oregon Consortium for Higher Education formed to offer bachelor's and master's degrees by OSU and other universities


  • OSU begins offering classes in Central Oregon for adults seeking to complete a bachelor’s degree


  • Civic leaders establish Central Oregon College, Oregon’s first community college, to offer technical/vocational programs