Green Film School Alliance membership for SOU Digital Cinema

SOU Digital Cinema accepted as Green Film School Alliance member

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Communication, Media & Cinema program is one of 16 higher education programs accepted for new membership in the Green Film School Alliance – a collaboration of leading film schools that have committed to industry-level sustainable production practices in their programs.

The GFSA announced its new member institutions on Wednesday, more than doubling its membership to 27 sustainability-minded schools. The organization’s membership now includes colleges and universities in seven states, four countries and three continents – with 10 of them also appearing on the Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Film School list for 2022.

“It’s an honor for our young program to be recognized among the most prestigious film schools in the U.S., and beyond,” said Andrew Gay, an associate professor of digital cinema at SOU and chair of the university’s Communication, Media & Cinema program. “This alliance is an outstanding example of  SOU’s commitment to sustainability, our Digital Cinema program’s focus on state-of-the-art production, and SOU’s top-tier opportunities for students.”

SOU’s Digital Cinema bachelor’s degree program launched in 2019 and drew acclaim earlier this year for its innovative, 12-credit spring immersion course called “The Crew Experience.” Student filmmakers in the course spend an entire term learning from faculty and experienced mentors on location for a significant film project.

This year’s Crew Experience cohort produced the short film “Eight & Sand” – which last week became the 25th student project anywhere in the world to be awarded the Environmental Media Association Green Seal. SOU is the sixth university to earn an EMA Green Seal, and the first undergraduate program on the West Coast to do so. The seal is presented to student productions that achieve sustainable production goals identified in the GFSA’s Production Environmental Actions Checklist (PEACHy) for young filmmakers.

Vincent Smith, Ph.D., the director of SOU’s Division of Business, Communication and Environmental Science, said the university’s Digital Cinema Program is a perfect example of hands-on, interdisciplinary learning experiences that have become a hallmark of the institution.

“I am regularly asked to explain why Business, Communication and Environmental Science are in one division,” Smith said. “This is just one of many good reasons why thinking across traditional disciplinary boundaries makes good sense for our future.”

The Green Film School Alliance and its member colleges and universities commit to common sustainability language, standards and tools to reduce waste and lower the carbon footprint of film productions. The organization is supported by the Sustainable Production Alliance and the Producers Guild of America Green.


Carl Green, Jr., to receive SOU's Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Four SOU alumni honored for service

A retired professor and Cherokee Nation member, a current small college president, a U.S. Air Force colonel who commands Oregon’s Air National Guard fighter wing and an Alaskan who has gone from wrestler to civil rights leader all will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 3, when Southern Oregon University recognizes this year’s alumni award winners.

This year’s four award recipients were chosen by the SOU Alumni Association Board of Directors: Helen Redbird-Smith, Ph.D., for the Outstanding Alumni Award; Cynthia Pemberton, Ed.D., for the Alumni Excellence in Education Award; Col. Todd Hofford for the Stan Smith Alumni Service Award; and Master Sgt. Carl Green for the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. The awards ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m. in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room.

Helen Redbird-Smith grew up in Oklahoma, a member of the Cherokee Nation, but moved with her family to southern Oregon shortly after World War II when her father wanted her to attend “Elmo’s school” – a reference to Southern Oregon College under then-President Elmo Stevenson. She graduated in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in education, then went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology from the University of Colorado. Redbird-Smith returned to Oregon to serve for 30 years on the faculty at Western Oregon University and received an appointment in 1980 from President Jimmy Carter to provide advice and counsel on the issues of Native American students. She still finds joy in learning – taking classes in film, science, Japanese and philosophy – and in honor of her SOU connections has donated to the Hannon Library many of her research papers, monographs, ephemera and documents related to Native American Tribes.

Cynthia Pemberton grew up in Medford and went on to Willamette University, competing as a student-athlete on the swim team and earning bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology. She worked in Hawaii for the Dolphin Language Institute, then returned to the Rogue Valley as a swim coach for the Southern Oregon Swim Association in Ashland, and while coaching full-time in 1983, completed her master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at SOU, with a focus on physical education, sports psychology and nutrition. She held coaching and teaching positions at the University of Nevada, Reno, and at Linfield College in McMinnville, before earning her doctorate in educational leadership at Portland State University in 1996. She has held administrative positions at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Dickinson Staten University in North Dakota and Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, and has served as president of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, since 2018.

Todd Hofford grew up in Ashland and worked while in high school at the historic Mark Antony Hotel (now the Ashland Springs Hotel). He was placed on academic probation during his freshman year at SOU, then enlisted in the Oregon Air National Guard to help pay for school and bore down academically while commuting between Ashland and Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, eventually graduating magna cum laude in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration – and a year later, with a second bachelor’s degree in communication. He earned a spot in 1998 at the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant before entering a two-year pilot program at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He returned to Oregon – first to Kingsley Field and then to the Portland Airbase as a fighter pilot in the 142nd Fighter Wing. He now serves as commander of the 142nd Wing, overseeing 1,400 service personnel and $2.2 billion worth of aircraft and equipment.

Carl Green, Jr., grew up on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and was the first in his family to graduate high school. He moved to Washington to wrestle in junior college, but returned to his home state and joined the Alaska Army National Guard to help pay for his education. He moved to Ashland to attend SOU and wrestle, transferring to the Oregon Army National Guard. An injury ended his wrestling career, but he concentrated on academics, earning bachelor’s degrees in 2009 in psychology and human communication, with certificates in human resources, mediation and conflict resolution, and nonprofit management. He re-enlisted in the military, this time in the Oregon Air National Guard, then earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Oregon. Green has held operations analyst positions at the Bonneville Power Administration and the TriMet public transportation system in Portland, then as an equity officer at TriMet and later at the Regional Transportation District in Denver. He was promoted early this year to interim director of the Colorado agency’s Civil Rights Division.

NSF grant for computational thinking research

SOU team gets NSF grant to work on “computational thinking” curriculum

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been awarded a three-year grant totaling nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to help K-5 teachers develop  “computational thinking” skills in the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent school districts. The work will build upon a $299,000 grant SOU was awarded in September 2019 to launch the collaborative research project – which was a success despite the abrupt shift to an online format during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both grants are part of the NSF’s Computer Science for All program, which is intended to extend computer science and computational thinking (CT) opportunities to all K-12 students in the U.S. Computational thinking refers to a set of thought processes traditionally used in computer science to identify and define problems and their solutions. The CT curriculum developed by local teachers, in partnership with SOU researchers, will address barriers associated with implementing computing curriculum in early grades because it will be incorporated into core subjects and introduced in an “unplugged” manner – without computers or technology.

Maggie Vanderberg, an associate professor of computer science at SOU and the leader of the research team for the NSF project, said the grant is dream come true.

“We need to find equitable ways to broaden participation in computer science to increase diversity in the traditionally white male-dominated field,” she said. “And this idea of integrating computational thinking into core subjects will ensure all students have the opportunity to build CT skills during their regular school day – which will also serve them in many other aspects of their lives.

“By building off of what we learned in the previous project, and creating new partnerships across Oregon, we have the ability to make a significant impact across the state.”

The project will include 20 local elementary teachers from the Phoenix-Talent School District’s Orchard Hill, Phoenix and Talent elementary schools, and the Ashland School District’s Bellview, John Muir, Helman, Walker and Willow Wind elementary schools. As co-researchers, the teachers will construct a computational thinking curriculum by embedding the thought processes into existing lessons and then test and refine the effectiveness of those lessons. The goal is to empower all students with the skills necessary for success in middle and high school computing curriculum, and eventually in technologically-rich careers .

“We are excited to continue our partnerships with the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent School Districts,“ said project team researcher Eva Skuratowicz, director of the Southern Oregon University Research Center (SOURCE). “This is a unique opportunity for K-5 and higher education in the Rogue Valley to work together and create a curriculum that can be used nationwide.

Ashland Superintendent Samuel Bogdanove explained the benefits for his district.

“The NSF grant has provided a great opportunity for teachers to delve into strategies that support early computational thinking skills development,” he said. “The project supports the work of the regular classroom teacher in an accessible way by offering tools and strategies that fold easily into classroom learning.

“I look forward to the expansion of the work provided by the grant, and the passion it will spark in the minds of students.”

Phoenix-Talent Superintendent Brent Barry shares in the excitement of continuing work on the project. “Our teachers benefit from top-notch professional development and training, which in turn will benefit all of our students as they continue their education,” he said. “This grant provides the opportunity to expand what we have learned to more teachers and students. Phoenix-Talent is grateful for the partnership with SOU and Ashland School District.”

The program will grow over the next three years to include collaborations with researchers at the College of William & Mary in Virginia and Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus in Bend, and teachers in Lincoln County School District and Redmond School District, The ultimate goal is to develop the beginning of a K-12 computing curriculum pipeline in the state of Oregon. The three-year NSF grant totals $999,806 and will fund the team’s work beginning in October and running through September of 2025.


SOU ceremony in Guanajuato to honor Faffie Siekman and Juan Carlos Romero Hicks

SOU leaders to honor alumnus and friends of the university in Guanajuato ceremony

(Ashland, Ore.) — A contingent from Southern Oregon University will visit sister institution Universidad de Guanajuato in the coming days to present SOU’s highest service award to prominent Mexican politician and SOU alumnus Juan Carlos Romero Hicks and his wife, Frances “Faffie” Siekman Romero.

“Juan Carlos and Faffie are true and longstanding friends of SOU and our entire community,” said SOU President Rick Bailey, who will present the couple with the SOU President’s Medal in a ceremony on Monday, Aug. 8. “They have honored their ties to SOU and the city of Ashland throughout their remarkable careers, and have gone to great lengths to strengthen the social and academic cross-cultural partnerships that we all enjoy.”

The two have tirelessly supported connections between the two universities – and the communities of Ashland and Guanajuato – since Romero Hicks enrolled at SOU for the first time in 1978. He earned master’s degrees from SOU in business administration and social sciences and has since served as rector (president) of the Universidad de Guanajuato, governor of the state of Guanajuato, a federal senator and currently as minority leader for the National Action Party (PAN) in the lower chamber of Mexico’s legislative branch. He has announced his 2024 presidential candidacy.

Faffie Siekman has focused on humanitarianism and philanthropy, supporting causes such as adequate eye care for the people of Mexico, building materials for families in need and animal welfare – including a burro rescue program near Guanajuato. She has matched donations to the Ashland Amigo Club’s Endowed Scholarship Fund – managed by the SOU Foundation – since the fund was established in 2017; it has resulted in 10 scholarships to date for students to study in either Ashland or Guanajuato.

The couple’s first child was born in Ashland, the day before Romero Hicks began classes at SOU. He has often said that his life was changed by the Amistad Program, which enables student exchanges between SOU and UG.

“When I became president of the University of Guanajuato, I said none of that would have happened if it weren’t for my experiences with the exchange program,” Romero Hicks said. “It gave me the education and the global perspective that shaped who I am.”

The SOU President’s Medal, established in 1984, is the university’s highest tribute and is awarded as often as once per year to a community member who is distinguished by her or his actions and contributions. It has previously been presented to 57 individuals and organizations, most recently in August 2019 to Confederated Tribes of the Siletz elder Agnes “Grandma Aggie” Pilgrim.

Recipients of the medal are recognized for their exemplary service to the university and community, and for demonstrating compassion, integrity, generosity, leadership and courage. The SOU president determines when and to whom the award is presented.

President Bailey, SOU Board of Trustees Chair Daniel Santos and Janet Fratella, SOU’s vice president for university advancement and executive director of the SOU Foundation, will represent the university in Guanajuato.


SOU rugby club at national tournament

SOU women’s rugby club team makes most of trip to nationals

Southern Oregon University’s women’s rugby club team, which mounted a fast and furious fund-raising effort this spring just to participate in the Collegiate Rugby Championship tournament in New Orleans, came away from the experience over Memorial Day Weekend having accomplished part of its ultimate goal – winning the final two games of the tournament.

Rugby club at tournamentLosses in the first two rounds eliminated the SOU team, first from the 16-team championship bracket and then the eight-team consolation bracket. But SOU found its footing in the four-team Challenge Bowl Bracket – which team members jokingly referred to as the “Loser Bowl” – and came away from the tournament with a trophy, following its 19-12 victory over Clemson University in the Challenge Bowl Bracket’s championship game.

“Their scrappy and physical play embodies the tenacity of this group of women,” said Mike Fredericks, who traveled to New Orleans to watch his daughter Izabella and her SOU teammates. “SOU should be proud of the way they represented the university and state of Oregon.”

The women’s rugby club, like all of SOU’s sport clubs, is led by student-officers who play on the team. The student-officers handle logistical details that range from financial planning to fund-raising to coaching to safety to inclusion. The 2021-22 academic year began at SOU with no rugby team, coach or schedule, but with five women – seniors Na’Ai Solomon-Lewis (the player-coach), Elizabeth Rose , Emma Kinler and Hannah Kramer, and sophomore Izabella Fredericks – who were determined to resurrect the club that had been put on hold by two years of the pandemic. They practiced together through the winter, then in the spring began recruiting other players and eventually cobbled together a brief home and road schedule with other club teams from the Pacific Northwest. The team earned its invitation to the Collegiate Rugby Championship tournament by winning a regional qualifying tournament in Boise.

The low-budget club model under which the SOU rugby team operates is common at many universities and colleges, but the national tournament in New Orleans featured teams with very different backgrounds – including some with multiple, full-time coaches, six-figure budgets and double the number of players. Some institutions fielded full varsity teams backed by their athletic departments.

The SOU team raised $20,000 to accept its invitation to the national tournament – more than $10,000 of it in the final month. The team lost, 21 to 10, to No. 2 seed Grand Canyon University in its first-round game, and then lost, 33 to 12, in its consolation-round game to the University of Iowa. SOU then defeated Southern Nazarene University, 29 to 10, in its first round of the Challenger Bowl Bracket, and beat Clemson University, 19 to 12, in that bracket’s championship game.

In addition to its five original players, SOU’s national tournament team was made up of Beyoncé Garcia, Maeve Moore, Emily Preston, Hailey Conner and Sonya Goddess.

“I got to witness and experience the very essence of why I am in this field, or why I get-up every morning with such enthusiasm to do what we call a job,” said Hugues Lecomte, SOU’s director campus recreation. “Every one of our 10 student-players displayed such fantastic values with a can-do attitude from the get-go.

“The team itself played in their own style, self-proclaimed the outcast of the tournament, with one of their own players fulfilling the coach responsibilities,” Lecomte said. “They connected and engaged with many other teams and players during the weekend and they were seen (and heard!) cheering other teams from the bleachers, hugging other players after games, and displaying the best sportsmanship ethics.”

Rating system give SOU gold

SOU achieves “Gold” in prestigious sustainability rating

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has jumped from a “Silver” to a “Gold” rating for campus-wide sustainability achievements, as measured by an evaluation system developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and used to grade colleges and universities worldwide.

Gold rating from AASHE“It is an honor for SOU to be recognized for its contributions to heal and preserve our environment,” SOU President Rick Bailey said. “Achieving the ‘Gold’ level is a huge accomplishment that reflects our commitment to sustainability.

“We still have several projects in the works or in development that I am convinced will make our university even more of a national model – and will lift us to this rating system’s very highest level,” Bailey said. “We are very grateful to Becs Walker and all of the staff members and students who lead us in these important efforts.”

Participants in AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) can be recognized simply for reporting their sustainability achievements, or for rating at the organization’s bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. STARS is used by more than 900 participating institutions in 40 countries, rating their sustainability efforts in five categories: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

SOU first achieved the system’s silver level in 2017, and that rating was reaffirmed in 2019. The new gold rating takes into account the university’s ongoing efforts to attain its sustainability goals. STARS assesses environmental factors, along with social and economic considerations. SOU has demonstrated progress in many areas related to sustainability in achieving the gold rating, including governance of sustainability, health and wellbeing, protecting the environment, equity, social justice and community engagement.

SOU has completed eight new green building projects over the past three years, for instance, with four of them including new solar arrays. Three buildings on campus currently fall under the “net-zero” category, meaning they create more energy than they spend. President Bailey and the SOU team are also working to secure funding for solar projects that would eventually enable SOU to produce all of its own electricity, and potentially to sell excess power production.

“SOU’s gold STARS rating demonstrates leadership in sustainability across the SOU community,” said Becs Walker, SOU’s sustainability and recycling manager. “Sustainability is not just about doing something that has a positive impact – or negates an adverse impact – on the environment. It is about system change for the economy, society and the environment. We are continuing to challenge ourselves in building a better way of doing things here at SOU.”

The upgraded STARS rating from AASHE is the latest of many recognitions of the university’s sustainability efforts in recent years. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities recognized SOU in 2019 as the organization’s Excellence and Innovation Award recipient for comprehensive sustainability and sustainable development. The university also received an honorable mention that year at the Presidential Climate Leadership Summit.

SOU was the nation’s first certified Bee Campus USA and has maintained that certification, has been named a Tree Campus USA for five consecutive years and has been recognized for the ninth year in a row as one of the nation’s top 30, “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities by Campus Pride – a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on campuses nationwide.

AASHE is a nonprofit organization that helps colleges and universities work together to create and lead the way to a sustainable future. Its STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.


Outstanding Staff Award nominations are open

Nominations open for SOU’s Outstanding Staff Award

Have you noticed commendable work by an SOU classified or unclassified staff member? You can nominate them through the end of March for the university’s Outstanding Staff Award, which honors two people each year for their achievements, service, leadership and dedication to the university.

Nominees will be considered by a campus-wide selection committee, and the 2022 recipients of SOU’s top award for staff members will be recognized at the university’s annual, end-of-year celebration breakfast in June. Each will receive a $750 honorarium and glass trophy, and the winners’ names will be added to a perpetual plaque in the first-floor hallway of Churchill Hall.

The Outstanding Staff Award has been presented each year since 2018. All current staff members who have worked at least three continuous years at SOU in a regular, non-faculty position are eligible. Previous winners are not eligible.

The selection committee will determine this year’s winners by considering to what extent each of the nominees meet the award criteria: goes above and beyond to build relationships and enthusiastically assists colleagues and/or customers; is dedicated and loyal to the university; demonstrates expertise in their job; exhibits creativity, resourcefulness and initiative; and consistently demonstrates one or more of SOU’s values.

Nominations for the Outstanding Staff Award may be made online through 5 p.m. on March 31.

Faculty members are ineligible for the staff award, but can instead be recognized through SOU’s Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Service and Distinguished Scholarship awards.

Distinguished Alumni Award winner Fred Mossler and three others to be honored

SOU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients to be recognized

An entrepreneur and former Zappos executive, a chemist working toward a cure for Duchene muscular dystrophy, a conservation and youth program leader, and the architect of an award-winning band program will be honored Thursday during a Homecoming Weekend luncheon to recognize Southern Oregon University’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Fred Mossler, who earned his bachelor’s degree from SOU in 1990 and helped lead upstart online retailer Zappos to prominence, will receive this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award and Susan Ramos-Hunter, Ph.D., who earned her SOU bachelor’s degree in 2010, will receive the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

This year’s Stan Smith Alumni Service Award will go to Greg Wolley, who received his master’s degree in environmental education at SOU in 1981 before embarking on a career in conservation management with a focus on opportunities for youth and people of color. The Excellence in Education award will be presented to Scott Kneff, who earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance at SOU in 1999; he has nearly tripled band participation in the Southern California community of Santa Paula since 2008 and built the program into a consistent award-winner.

The four award recipients will be honored Thursday at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Ashland Springs Hotel that launches this year’s Homecoming Weekend. The award luncheon is by invitation-only, due to COVID-19 protocols.

Mossler worked his way through SOU at a local shoe store and as a resident advisor in the dorms. He went to work for Nordstrom after graduation, first in Seattle and then San Francisco – which is where he was recruited in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn to lead customer service and day-to-day operations at a newly-launched online shoe retailer – which became The company had more than $1 billion in sales when it was acquired 10 years later by Amazon. Mossler left the company in 2016 to focus on other entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures – from revitalizing downtown Las Vegas to launching après ski-inspired shoe brand Ross & Snow and Vegas-based restaurant chain Nacho Daddy, which donates a portion of every purchase to children in need.

Ramos-Hunter, originally from northern California, transferred to SOU from Rogue Community College to study psychology and was mentored by faculty member Mark Krause – who recommended the Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program for potential graduate students. She graduated as a McNair Scholar, majoring in psychology with a chemistry minor, then earned her master’s degree and doctorate in chemistry from Vanderbilt University. She is now a senior scientist at Entrada Therapeutics in Boston, and part of a team synthesizing cutting edge bio-therapeutics and working toward a cure for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.

Wolley came to SOU to earn his master’s degree in environmental education after receiving his undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley. The local beauty combined with energetic, thoughtful teaching helped him lay the personal and academic foundation for a career that would include management roles with the Nature Conservancy, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Mt. Hood National Forest, the city of Portland and TriMet. His volunteer service includes co-founding the African American Outdoor Association and membership on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Kneff visited SOU as a senior in high school and fell in love with the university and the Ashland community. He attended community college in California for two years, then found his way back to SOU to complete his bachelor’s degree in the music program, participating in the university’s jazz band, symphonic band, saxophone quartet and the Raider Band. He then returned to Southern California to earn a bachelor’s degree in history, his teaching credentials and an eventual master’s degree. His teaching career began with stints in Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California, before he returned to Ventura County, where he grew up. Isbell School in Santa Paula had just 57 band students spread through three classes when he began in 2007; within 12 years the program had 175 students reached consistent “superior” ratings in regional band and orchestra competitions.

SOU named Tree Campus USA

SOU recognized as Tree Campus USA

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University was recognized this month as a Tree Campus USA for the seventh consecutive year.

Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program started in 2008, honors higher education institutions and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. SOU is one of 392 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the most recent recognition and one of seven in Oregon.

“Over the past year, many have been reminded of the importance of nature to our physical and mental health,” Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, wrote in a letter to SOU President Linda Schott.

“Your campus trees provide spaces of refuge and reflection to students, staff, faculty and the community,” Lambe said.

SOU earned the Tree Campus designation by fulfilling the program’s five core standards for effective campus forest management: a regular observance of Arbor Day, sponsorship of student service-learning projects and establishment of a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan and dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program.

The Tree Campus program for higher education institutions has spawned two similar programs – Tree Campus K-12 and Tree Campus Healthcare – and the Arbor Day Foundation president called upon recognized colleges and universities to lead by example in their areas.

“We hope your example inspires collaboration,” Lambe said.

SOU’s Arbor Day observance is run by the Landscape Services Department, which organized volunteers to plant 137 large trees and 24,000 plants around campus between 2014 and 2016,.

All trees planted at SOU’s Arbor Day celebrations are donated by Plant Oregon, a Talent nursery. SOU offers free t-shirts and lunches to its Arbor Day volunteers. Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday of April.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member, nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission of inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Tree Campus USA’s colleges donate money to support the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative, which strives to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities by 2022.