Celebrating photographer & distinguished alumnus Fred Hill

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: George Venn | EOU Professor Emeritus | gvenn@eou.edu

Distinguished alumnus Fred Hill donated his entire collection of WWII photographs – more than 1,000 historical negatives – to EOU’s Pierce Library in 2010.

July 31, 2013
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) - A program honoring the life and art of Fred Hill is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 at the First Baptist Church located at 1702 6th St.

Hill, a World War II veteran, accomplished photographer and distinguished EOU alumnus, has taken numerous award-winning images that negotiate a full spectrum of visual interest – from the historical and documentary, to the aesthetic and personal.

Speakers at the event include Hill and his family, fellow military veterans, photographer Eric Valentine, author and EOU professor emeritus George Venn, and other members of the university’s art, English and writing faculty.

Karen Clay, director of EOU’s Pierce Library, will acknowledge Hill’s significant and ongoing photographic contributions to the library, including his donations of complete WW II and historical collections.

Audience members will also be invited to share experiences and appreciations. 

Hill began practicing photography at a young age. He was born in 1920 in Elgin and attended Eastern Oregon Normal School, during which time he became friends with the soon-to-be famous fine arts photographer Minor White. Together they enjoyed documenting northeast Oregon scenes until 1943, when Hill shipped out to the Pacific Theatre as a photography lab chief with the 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Fifth Air Force.

After his discharge in 1945, Hill reconnected with White and began studying under Ansel Adams at the California School of Fine Arts. He launched a successful 39-year career as a commercial photographer and shortly after returning to Union County his work achieved national recognition.

Hill published “Darkroom Soldier” in 2007, a book containing hundreds of photographs and letters he sent to his late wife Martha while he was in the service. Now rare and out-of-print, the volume was named a National Best Books Finalist in 2008.

EOU presented Hill with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011 and hosted a screening of “The Jungleers in Battle: A Documentary of the 41st Infantry in WWII” in 2013.

Admission to the program is free and seating is limited. Refreshments will be served. For more information contact Eric Valentine at evalenti@eoni.com or George Venn at gvenn@eou.edu.

EOU providing students with high return on their investment

News contact: Laura Hanocck | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

July 23, 2013
LA GRANDE, Ore. – An online resource for college affordability and financial aid information has identified Eastern Oregon University as one of the institutions in Oregon providing students with good return on their investment.

Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) looked at 93 colleges and universities in the state and then ranked the top 14 as “High ROI Colleges.”

Net tuition prices, graduates’ average starting salaries and return on investment calculations were factored into the ranking criteria. All of the schools on the list are fully accredited, four-year, not-for-profit institutions.

When it comes to cost, EOU is the most affordable option among Oregon’s seven public universities. A full-time, resident undergraduate student will pay around $7,500 in tuition and fees in 2013-14.

ACO also found that graduates from the top 14 schools enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over a 30-year span.

“These are important lists for prospective students to consider,” says ACO founder Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Oregon that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.”

ACO compiled the list of top 14 schools following these highly respected, authoritative data sets:

NCES - the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. It provides consistent, reliable, complete, and accurate indicators of education status and trends.

IPEDS - the primary federal source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary schools in the U.S.

Carnegie Classification - a framework widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.

Payscale.com - the premier salary data collection organization.

> View ACO’s complete list of “Colleges in Oregon with High ROI”

Biology grads’ knowledge, skill shine in Major Field Test

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

Submitted photo / EOU biology students examine a 30 million year-old fossilized tortoise.

July 16, 2013
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) - Eastern Oregon University’s 2013 biology graduates are leaving their studies well prepared, as the results of a recent Major Field Test would indicate.

Nearly 800 colleges and universities participated in the comprehensive test developed by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service.

EOU ranked in the top 40 percent overall, but the group of seniors showed particular prowess in the sub-discipline of molecular biology and genetics, placing in the top 25 percent nationwide.

Students completed the exam in the spring as part of a required capstone course for their major. Factual knowledge of the subject, data interpretation and analysis, critical thinking and problem solving were covered in 150 multiple-choice questions. Their scores were tabulated and released three weeks later.

“They [the students] were sitting on the edge of their seats!” said John Rinehart, EOU biology professor. “We’ve always had a strong program with measurable, tangible outcomes, but I don’t think we’ve ever done quite this well before. It illustrates how our program compares to other institutions, both large and small.”

EOU offers two concentrations in ecological and organismal biology and molecular biology. These were included as sub-disciplines in the exam, along with cell biology, population biology, evolution and ecology.

Rinehart explained how the Major Field Test serves as a powerful tool for tracking students’ understanding and proficiency in the subject. Lower scores also help zero in on areas where improvement may be needed.

“The results show our students are particularly good at critical thinking and problem solving, which we’ve focused on more in the last several years,” Rinehart said.

Those skills combined with quality instruction and hands-on research can give students a head start if they apply for graduate or professional school, which according to Rinehart, most do. 

Approximately 18 students graduated with biology degrees from EOU this academic year. The program’s focus in molecular biology and molecular genetics also serves the needs of those seeking pre-professional training in medicine, nursing and veterinary medicine.

“Congratulations to our fabulous students!” said Steven Gammon, dean of EOU’s college of arts and sciences. “Their outstanding performance is a clear indication of the strength of our students, faculty and programs. It is especially gratifying to see biology faculty creating a world-class educational experience that incorporates personalized, excellent classroom instruction with research. This special combination prepares students for success.”

EOU was one of five Oregon institutions participating in the Major Field Test this year. Public and private schools with five or more seniors in the time period specified are eligible to administer the exam.