Editorial: Roses and Raspberries

Editorial: Roses and Raspberries


ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

We hereby deliver:

ROSES to Mike Goodwin, who retired Jan. 3 as president and chief executive officer of the Oregon State University Foundation, the nonprofit organization that raises private donations to support the university.

Goodwin came to the job with a strong background in big league donor development at Georgetown, and he upped OSU’s fundraising game in a big way.

He took the reins at the foundation in 2004, a year after Ed Ray was hired as president of OSU, and the two worked in tandem to raise the university’s profile, broaden its donor base, strengthen connections with alumni and raise the bar for what is possible at Oregon State.

While Ray is the university’s most recognizable public face, it was Goodwin who led the charge for the Campaign for OSU, the first campuswide capital campaign in the institution’s history. Initially targeted to raise $625 million, the campaign eventually brought in more than $1.1 billion from 106,000 individual donors.

That money found its way to every corner of the institution, helping to fund 30 major construction projects on the main campus in Corvallis and satellite locations in Bend and Newport. Campaign for OSU donors also ponied up $300 million worth of scholarships and fellowships and endowed 103 faculty positions.

Like all large undertakings, the Campaign for OSU benefitted from the contributions of numerous individuals, but Goodwin was the one orchestrating the highly successful capital drive. On his watch, the OSU Foundation saw its annual fundraising totals grow from $30 million to $100 million and its assets swell from $430 million to $850 million, including an endowment valued at more than $600 million.

Goodwin was honored at Friday’s OSU Board of Trustees meeting with a resolution of appreciation from the board and a well-deserved round of applause from the audience.

ROSEBERRIES to the Oregon Department of Transportation, which is finally delivering on its promise to upgrade the warning lights at pedestrian crossings on South Third Street in Corvallis. The improvements came too late, however, to make a difference to the family of Rhiana Daniel, the 11-year-old girl who died crossing the busy thoroughfare earlier this month.

There are four enhanced crosswalks on South Third, equipped with concrete islands in the middle and user-activated amber lights designed to warn motorists when someone is crossing the street. Plans have been in the works for months to replace those lights with a new type of warning device called rectangular rapid flashing beacons, which are supposed to do a better job of catching the attention of approaching motorists.

The first set was installed last week at the crosswalk where Rhiana Daniel was fatally injured, and ODOT says the other crossings will get the upgrades next week. But two of the lights at the crosswalk where Rhiana was hit were destroyed in a motor vehicle crash last August and never replaced. Her death was the third fatality in that block since June 2018.

Since Rhiana’s death, the city of Corvallis has taken several steps to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety in the corridor, and ODOT has made other safety improvements as well. But we have to wonder why it took so long.

ROSES to everyone who took part in Oregon State University’s 38th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Junior celebration last week.

Raquel Willis, an activist, writer and executive editor of Out magazine, gave a rousing keynote address. Evoking what she called the radical spirit of King’s legacy, she called for a broadening of the contemporary civil rights movement to include the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, people who identify as non-binary and other marginalized groups.

Afterwards Willis joined local civil rights leaders and OSU administrators in the front ranks of the annual Peace March. Close to 200 people marched across campus, carrying signs and singing spirituals from the civil rights era as they made their way to the steps of the Memorial Union, where several speakers addressed the crowd.

As the speakers made clear, the struggle for equal rights is far from over, and bigotry is alive and well today in the mid-valley. But it was heartening to see the determination of the participants to keep up the fight and the support they received for their efforts from the campus community at OSU.


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