OSU President Ed Ray greets all comers at his annual campus breakfast
"I see people I haven't seen in a long time," Oregon State University President Ed Ray said Thursday morning as he scanned the people gathered in the Memorial Union Lounge.
Ray was hosting his annual President's Winter Coffee, an event open to all university students, faculty and staff. The all-morning event was an informal get-together over free breakfast snacks, tea and coffee that drew about 500 participants from all corners of the campus.
Organizers say more students attend the event each year. The event dates at least to Ray's arrival at OSU in 2003 and gives a chance for many of the university community to meet and speak with the OSU president.
A handful of members of the local Occupy movement took the opportunity to talk with Ray.
Others had more personal agendas. Sophomore Lane Porth had never met Ray before Thursday and the chemical engineering major - whose family includes several OSU alumni - stopped by just to shake Ray's hand.
"I've always been impressed with his leadership," Porth said.
Jenny Villalobos has known Ray for years. She is working for her master's degree in business administration after earning her undergraduate degree at OSU. She's met Ray through her involvement in many campus organizations, such as the Students in Free Enterprise group.
"I'm involved in everything I can possibly be," she said.
Villalobos stopped to give a quick hello to Ray - a fortuitous move, as it turned out.
"He told me he'd be a reference at my job interview next week," Villalobos said. She wants to score a project management or marketing job, and eventually come back to teach entrepreneurship at OSU.
Contact Gazette-Times reporter Gail Cole at 541-758-9510 or email@example.com.