October 15, 2014
(Ashland, Ore.) — Four alumni of Southern Oregon University were honored during the fifth annual President’s Dinner Oct. 15 at the Inn at the Commons in Medford.
In addition to being a venue for recognizing outstanding alumni, this year’s President’s Dinner also launched the SOU Foundation’s “Count Me In” campaign to raise funds for student scholarships. Through the campaign, which will last only 100 hours, the Foundation hopes at least 500 individuals will make contributions of any amount to the Supporting Opportunities for Undergraduates (SOU) Scholarship fund.
“There is great need for scholarships for our undergraduate students,” said interim SOU President Dr. Roy Saigo. “Approximately 84 percent of our students require some form of financial aid, and more than 60 percent of our students from within Oregon are the first in their families to go to college.”
The campaign can be followed on social media by using the hashtag #SOUCountMeIn, or at countmein.sou.edu
Bryan DeBoer was honored as Distinguished Alumni of the Year. DeBoer graduated summa cum laude from SOU in 1988. He joined Lithia Motors, where he has worked in various corporate capacities, including mergers, acquisitions, and operations. In 2006 DeBoer was named Chief Operations Officer, then in 2012 Chief Executive Officer and President of Lithia Motors Inc., a position he still holds today.
Other honorees included Nicholas Grant, Beth Heckert, and Dr. Michael Parker, who received the Young Alumni, Alumni Service, and Excellence in Education Awards, respectively.
Musical entertainment throughout the dinner was provided by SOU student Nic Temple, the SOU Graduate Percussion Group, and the SOU Jazz Collective.