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OIT President Martha Anne Dow Succumbs to Cancer after 6 Month Battle

Di Saunders – Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869

PORTLAND, September 29, 2007 – Oregon University System chancellor, George Pernsteiner, announced with sadness this evening the passing of Dr. Martha Anne Dow, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology, who died today after a six-month battle with breast cancer. President of OIT since 1998, Dow is widely recognized for her leadership in advancing the mission of Oregon Tech and her passion for expanding access to higher education for Oregonians.

Governor Ted Kulongoski said, “Dr. Dow’s dedication to raising the aspirations of Oregon students to attend college reflected her unwavering belief in every person’s ability to grow, learn, and give back to their communities. She will remain for us always a heroine of educational advancement and a true Oregon treasure.”

Henry Lorenzen, president of the State Board of Higher Education, said, “Martha Anne was not only a highly talented and innovative educator, she was also an incredibly kind, thoughtful and genuine friend and colleague for all of us who had the honor of working with her. Our hearts are breaking for her family, friends, and for ourselves. Martha Anne has left an indelible mark on OIT, Klamath Falls, the state, and on the thousands of students she has taught, mentored and guided to a college degree in Oregon.”

Martha Anne Dow became the fifth president of OIT in May 1998, after serving there for six years as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Enrollment at Oregon Tech grew by almost 1,000 students during her tenure, and programs in engineering, computer science, applied health fields and geothermal power grew to meet regional and state needs. Dr. Dow worked tirelessly during the 2007 legislative session and previous sessions to gain new programs and support services for students, and to expand programs to meet current and anticipated workforce needs. Earlier this month, OIT’s new Center for Health Professions was named after Dr. Dow at the request of the major donors to the Center, Dick and Nancy Wendt.

Before joining OIT, Dow was Vice President of Academic Affairs at Montana State University-Northern from 1990 to 1992. She taught for more than 25 years in the fields of biology, microbiology, environmental science and water quality, with research interests that included water and wastewater processes and aquatic virology. Dr. Dow graduated from Montana State-Northern with a B.S. in Secondary Education with a major in Biology and received her M.S. from Montana State University in Bozeman in Microbiology. With a fellowship from the East-West Center, she completed a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

In 2000, Dr. Dow received the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Service by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and the Candice Richard Award for outstanding contributions to economic development from the Klamath County Economic Development Association. Until she went on medical leave this spring, Dr. Dow was active in the following associations: Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association, American Society of Microbiology, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the American Society for Engineering Education. She also served on TEAM Klamath for the Klamath County Economic Development Association, the Cascades East Area Health Education Center advisory board, South Central Oregon Regional Investment Board and Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (ex-officio). She was also a director on the Klamath Basin Ecosystem Foundation, Southern Oregon Public Television, and served as Chair of the Crater Lake National Park Trust Board of Trustees.

“We lost a great friend, colleague and teacher yesterday with Martha Anne’s passing,” said Pernsteiner. “Her understanding of the growing shortages in applied health care in Oregon led her to push for more programs and skills training at OIT. Her legacy in this area will continue to be realized through the recently named Martha Anne Dow Oregon Center for Health Professions. Her deep commitment to OIT’s mission in the applied sciences, engineering, and health care fields during her 15 years there gave rise to a highly skilled, technical workforce for the state. Her clear vision for OIT enabled Martha Anne to see what needed to be done long before anyone else, and then marshal the support to achieve it,” added Pernsteiner. “Some of the very students who went through the programs she developed at OIT provided diagnostic care to her in the early weeks of her treatment this spring. We will miss Martha Anne’s intellect, wisdom and friendship. Our hopes and prayers are with her family and her circle of close friends.”

Martha Anne Dow (nee Eudy) was born Jan. 3, 1939, in Little Rock, Ark., but called Montana her home. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Gary Dow, her daughters, Julie Del Carlo and Jerilyn Hanson, her son, Kevin Dow, and her grandchildren, Juliana and Olivia Del Carlo, Lucas and Logan Hanson, and Hunter and Delaney Dow.

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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