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Comedian Makes First Visit to Portland for OGI School of Science & Engineering Fund-raiser

   Portland, Ore.


Nationally known political satirist Al Franken is the keynote speaker at "Picnic in the Park," an annual event to benefit Oregon Health & Science University's OGI School of Science & Engineering. This is the first visit to Portland for Franken, a best-selling author-comedian who has provided election-night commentary for CNN, spoken at the White House correspondents dinner, and garnered five Emmy's for his memorable work on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live. OGI founder, former U.S. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, also will be on hand to say a few words in honor of the school's 40th anniversary (see attached). Festivities also will include presentation of the Howard Vollum Leadership Award (this year's recipient is Electro Scientific Industries founder and retired chairman Doug Strain) and the Paul Clayton Memorial Student Achievement Awards.

Tickets are $150 each and table sponsorships are available. For tickets contact the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at 503 748-1180 or More information about "Picnic in the Park" is on the Web at


The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four schools of the Oregon Health & Science University in 2001. The OGI School of Science & Engineering has more than 100 full-time and adjunct faculty, and more than 300 master's and doctoral students seeking degrees in five academic departments. In addition, there are 300 students taking for-credit courses, but not seeking degrees at this time. Each year the school's Center for Professional Development enrolls more than 1,000 working professionals who take not-for-credit classes.


Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 5:30 p.m.


Portland Marriott Downtown, 1401 S.W. Naito Parkway, Portland. Media attending the event should call ahead to make arrangements.


In the 1960s, with space exploration focusing attention on science, then-Gov. Mark O. Hatfield ordered a study on the feasibility of a graduate education center in Oregon. Less than two years later, the Oregon Graduate Center (OGC) was established.
  •  April 2, 1963: State of Oregon accepts and officially files Articles of Incorporation for the Oregon Graduate Center's legal birth.
  • 1965: The Tektronix Foundation provided $100,000 to purchase a building (the former Martin Marietta Metals lab on Barnes Road) for the OGC's first home. Shortly thereafter, Tektronix founder, Howard Vollum, pledged $2 million to get the school up and running.
  • Dec. 7, 1965: Tektronix underwrites the first research at OGC into atmospheric diffusion of laser light.
  •  June 6, 1966: OGC's first employee, Carl Miller, arrives to open the empty Martin Marietta building and prepare for the arrival of Richard Kerr, Ph.D., OGC's first scientist.
  •  1968: Tektronix contributes 74-acre plot in Washington County as a permanent home for OGC.
  •  1969: First 11 graduate students enroll.
  •  1970: First building, Materials Research Buildng, is completed on the OGC campus on Walker   Road.
  •  1971: First master of science degree awarded at OGC.
  •  1973: First doctoral degree awarded, in physics.
  •  1978: M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awards $2 million to OGC to build the Jack Murdock laboratory.
  •  1983: Ground broken for computer science and engineering building.
  •  1986: Upon his death, Howard Vollum bequeaths $14.8 million to OGC as an endowment.
  •  1989: Name changed to Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology to better reflect the graduate school's emphases.
  • 1991: Ground broken on Cooley Science Center, which doubles campus building space.
  • 1994: The Wilson Clark Center for Lifelong Learning is built, a space for dining, meetings and classes.
  • July 1, 2001: Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology merges with Oregon Health Sciences University to capitalize on the growing intersection between the biosciences, environmental sciences and information sciences. OGI becomes one of four specialty schools of OHSU and is renamed the OGI School of Science & Engineering. OHSU recasts itself as Oregon Health & Science University.
  • 2003: OGI School of Science & Engineering celebrates 40 years.

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