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Oregon State receives large gifts for sustainability initiatives Photo courtesy of Oregon State University.

Oregon State receives large gifts for sustainability initiatives

Oregon State University recently received a gift for $500,000 to help develop a new campus that will exemplify energy conservation. The gift will help the university launch its goal of achieving a net zero future, reported.

A married couple, Lee and Connie Kearney, who are both alumni of the school made the gift.

“As OSU alumni and Central Oregon homeowners, Connie and I are very committed to the success of OSU-Cascades. This sustainability initiative will provide a living laboratory for students and faculty interested in energy conservation and independence, and is very aligned with Central Oregon’s values,“ Lee Kearney said.

“This commitment marks a first significant step toward the creation of a campus that sets the standard for sustainability and net zero energy and resource use,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “We are thrilled by the Kearneys’ visionary leadership and their commitment to higher education in Central Oregon. We are also deeply grateful that other Central Oregon leaders have pledged their support for this innovative vision of a sustainable future for OSU-Cascades.” 

The gift was one of several major contributions, including a $75,000 gift from Rod Ray, former president and chief executive officer of Bend Research, and his wife Lori. Deschutes Brewery contributed $50,000 toward the initiative.

Design and mechanical upgrades that will be made as a result of the gifts include a highly efficient building envelope; the highest efficiency heating and cooling systems available; and functionality that incorporates solar, biomass and geothermal energy sources. The design will result in roughly 40 percent less energy usage when compared to similar buildings built to meet energy code standards, according to

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