From a Board member…

As an undergraduate student I was blessed to receive honors scholarships through the ER Jackman Friends and Alumni funds (ERJFA).  Clayton and Loree Fox, were my gracious donors and pen pals for many years during and after college.  They shared with me their love of agriculture, stories of their farming community in Imbler, Oregon and deep desire to help students succeed academically.  The funding received was greatly appreciated and truly helped me stay enrolled by easing my financial burdens.  Moreover, the hand-written letters of personal encouragement from both Clayton and Loree inspired me to give back to students.

In 2015 I was asked to assist the ERJFA Internship Committee interviewing undergraduates who had submitted applications for funding support.  I remember being in their shoes knowing how every penny awarded makes such a difference to their academic and experiential learning. Reconnecting on campus has been a fantastic opportunity to see the astonishing caliber of students in the College of Agricultural Sciences!

I continued to serve on the Internship and Club Funding Committees, formally joining the board in 2016, then assumed the role of President Fall 2019.  Through generous support, the ERJFA endowments are over $2.4 million; the earnings have allowed us to contribute over $112,000 this year to the CAS Beginning Researcher Program, scholarships, domestic and international internships, twenty-one different clubs (including the ambassadors) and other projects.  We directly support over 50 individual students and dozens more through the clubs and ambassador programs each year.  

For the coming year I look forward to connecting with our donors and keeping them informed of ER Jackman Friends and Alumni activities.  I am excited to continue highlighting the amazing things CAS students are doing and support their experiential learning opportunities by providing a means and connections as they further their education and prepare to enter the workforce. Stayed tuned for more updates and please mark your calendars to join our board meeting October 23, 2020, 2-5 p.m. at the OSU Foundation.

Thank you,
Karen Withers