SOU: Groundbreaking at pavilion dedicated to “outrageous innovation”

NEWS RELEASE (online at https://goo.gl/qrn3Nn)

(Ashland, Ore.) — A groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 9, will mark the start of construction on “Thalden Pavilion: dedicated to outrageous innovation in sustainability and the arts” – a cutting-edge, education and performance facility at The Farm of Southern Oregon University.

A generous donation from Ashland residents Barry and Kathryn Thalden is paying for design and construction of the new pavilion. The Thaldens, who moved to Ashland five years ago after successful careers as architects, have immersed themselves in several community projects, including downtown Ashland’s flower basket program and outdoor murals at the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and outside Sesame Asian Kitchen on the Ashland Plaza.

“Philanthropy will play an increasing role as we position Southern Oregon University over the next several years to best meet the needs of our students and our region,” SOU President Linda Schott said. “The Thaldens exemplify the kinds of people whose collaborative support will help us imagine what we can be, and then bring that vision to reality.”

Barry Thalden, whose architectural career included work on several casinos in Las Vegas and throughout the West, said he and his wife were inspired by the opportunity to create a landmark space that can be used by the entire community. Kathryn Thalden had her own landscape architecture and planning firm in the Midwest before she and her husband moved to Las Vegas and she became a Unity minister.

The Thaldens and SOU envision a facility at The Farm that can bring together the creative forces of the university, the city, the business community and local theaters.

“This place should be an inspiration,” Barry said. “That’s why we say it’s dedicated to outrageous innovation in sustainability and the arts.

“This building has to be outrageous; it has to be totally unique so that it’s recognized for what it is, and brings attention to the idea of sustainability and an experimental farm.”

Thursday’s ceremony will include remarks by President Schott, the Thaldens and others.

The Farm is a student-led agricultural and learning center at SOU. The 3 ½-acre property on Walker Street in Ashland serves as an organic farm for the production of healthy, sustainable food for the SOU community. It is also a center for sustainability and a hub for education, student and faculty research, and community outreach to the Rogue Valley.

The Thalden Pavilion has been designed by Chris Brown of the Ashland firm Arkitek: Design & Architecture.

“It is a rare occasion, indeed, to have a client from the design profession – let alone both an architect (Barry) and landscape architect (Kathryn), on one project,” Brown said. “The evolution from a simple outdoor gazebo into what it has become, has definitely been an adventurous ride.

“We worked specifically with the idea of ‘open’ space rather than a fully enclosed structure, and sought to let light in through the cracks, allow sails to billow in the wind and make explicit the movement and response of structure to wind, sun and change of seasons.”

-SOU-

About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

The Farm at SOU to have “farm mentor” for five-month appointment

NEWS BRIEF (online at https://goo.gl/HUog5W)

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Farm at SOU will have a new staff member from March through August – a “farm mentor” who will be employed by AmeriCorps and will help inspire a generation of ecologically committed leaders to live and work sustainably.

The farm mentor will work full-time for five months, and will receive a monthly stipend, health insurance coverage and a $2,865 educational award upon completion of the appointment. He or she may also be eligible for childcare assistance.

The mentor will design a master action plan for The Farm’s mentorship program, reach out to local human services programs to recruit participants in the program and develop cohorts based on shared goals and needs. The mentor will also work with the participants on projects that help build life skills, evaluate the program’s effectiveness and coordinate with other staff members at The Farm.

The SOU facility is student-led, organic agricultural project that serves as a hub for education, student and faculty research, and community research.

Those who are interested in the position may apply on the AmeriCorps website. Applicants will be reviewed by Nancy Shea, coordinator of the SOU Center for Sustainability, then will be vetted by AmeriCorps. Shea will make the final selection by mid-February, and the successful applicant will begin March 1.

-SOU-

About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU Students to Harvest, Reuse OSF Bricks

sou-logo-hz-186-pos

MEDIA ALERT

Who: Students from SOU’s Center for Sustainability

What: Harvesting bricks from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show plaza

When: 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, and again on Saturday, Nov. 19

osf-courtyardWhere: Oregon Shakespeare Festival (brick plaza off Pioneer Street, between the Bowmer and Elizabethan theaters)

Why: The bricks will be reused, which is what the Center for Sustainability is all about (they’ll be used for pathways and other projects at The Farm at SOU, on Walker Street).

About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.