The four students gathered around Chad Reese ’90, eager to tell their stories and thank him for his support. Phil told him about his research on the effects of alcohol on bone growth. Courtney shared stories of her research to discover if exercise early in life impacts later bone strength. Trent told Chad about his work finding solutions for safe passenger transfer to aircraft seats. And Emilee explained her work in the Linus Pauling Institute on cisplatin induced neuropathy and Vitamin E deficiency. Each student was a recipient of an Undergraduate Research Award Program grant that supported them in conducting research alongside a faculty member.
Chad was awed by the students’ accomplishments, goals, confidence and the doors he opened with the gift he and his wife, Carrie, ’90 speech communications, gave to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence. “These students are just phenomenal,” he says, “and the things they have done here at OSU provide a solid foundation for success when they leave. ”
Chad knew from the time he was nine years old that we wanted to go to OSU. “My uncle was the only one in our family who had gone to college. He was my role model.” Terry Holden, ’72 business administration, encouraged his nephew to follow in his footsteps in the College of Business. “Then I took a class from
and was ‘bit by the bug.’ She was just phenomenal in the classroom,” Chad recalls. He majored in home economics communications, did an internship with JCPenney as a junior, and was named the company’s Western Region Intern of the Year, which landed him a scholarship and a job opportunity. He went on to specialize in human resources and today is vice president for Umpqua Holdings Corporation in Portland.
As a new member of the College of Health and Human Sciences Campaign Cabinet, Chad hopes to get more young alumni involved in service and financial support to OSU. “I personally know what it means to get support. Generous people helped make my OSU education possible, so now we’re pleased to help the next generation of students. It was the right time to give back for all that OSU has given to me.” Chad and Carrie are raising their own generation of OSU Beavers. “I recently caught Tate (4) and Will (6) trash talking to a stranger wearing green and yellow. I just made sure they were fairly polite about it,” Chad says with a chuckle.