Oregon State University will launch the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families with a research symposium and a ceremony next Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The center is a new research initiative focused on the human lifespan, with a special emphasis on the physical, mental and behavioral health of children. It is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Ford, a noted Oregon philanthropist, made a gift of $8 million to OSU shortly before she died in 2007 at the age of 102. That donation made the center possible.

The ceremony and reception is set to start at 9:09 a.m. Wednesday at 26th Street and Campus Way, near the future site of a building for the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, which is scheduled to break ground in 2011. That's right, the ceremony will be at 9:09 a.m. on 9/9/09.

College of Health and Human Sciences Dean Tammy Bray picked the launch date. She is Taiwanese-born, and nine is an auspicious number in Chinese numerology that signifies change and transformation.

"We have an important responsibility to carry on Hallie Ford's passion for solid values that nurture children and families," Bray said.

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