Desire to Give Back

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Written by Shaelynn Miller, Arete Living

Roy Gaussoin, an esteemed alumnus of Oregon State University and resident of The Stafford, was recently recognized with the prestigious Lifetime Trustee Award. This accolade celebrates his remarkable contributions to the university and highlights his enduring commitment to serving the academic community. It is the highest recognition for volunteer leaders.

Roy’s dedication spans decades, during which he played a pivotal role in various projects and initiatives at OSU. Roy graduated from OSU in 1956, and he’s been heavily involved ever since. He felt a deep sense of gratitude and a desire to give back. Thus he embarked on a lifelong journey of volunteering and actively engaging with the university community. “I enjoyed college so much that I wanted to do what I could when I had time to assist them in areas of need.”

Roy held significant leadership positions, including serving as the president of the Beaver Club, a booster group. Additionally, he became a trustee in the Honors College, contributing to the advancement of academic excellence within the university. Roy’s commitment to OSU’s growth and success was evident through his involvement in projects such as the library’s complete renovation, the construction of a new School of Business building, and the establishment of a football stadium.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions and unwavering support, the university staff honored Roy with the Lifetime Trustee award during a special ceremony held as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the foundation. The event was attended by family, friends and esteemed guests, including his two daughters, one of whom flew from South Carolina to attend.

In a letter to Roy announcing his award, President and CEO of the OSU Foundation Shawn Scoville wrote: “This award honors the many years of service you gave to the board, and the expertise, dedication, and generous support that make you stand out as an outstanding trustee. You were a relationship builder extraordinaire, and you encouraged us to be more aspirational.”

Roy’s love for his alma mater is evident in his lifetime of service, the way he speaks so highly of his university and the collection of beavers and OSU awards he proudly displays throughout his apartment at The Stafford in Lake Oswego.

Roy volunteered in student recruitment alongside his late wife Shirley. The happy couple were high school sweethearts and attended OSU together. He proposed under the Trysting Tree, a popular romantic place where students exchange fraternity pins and propose. They were married for 47 years. He remembers their incredible adventures together, traveling with friends around the world.

Roy’s recognition with the Lifetime Trustee award from Oregon State University is a testament to his exceptional commitment to the institution. His extensive involvement in various aspects of university life, from athletics to academics, has left an indelible mark on the OSU community. As Roy nears his 90th birthday, his passion for serving and preserving his family’s legacy continues to inspire those around him. And he still has more to give!

“It’s nice to know that people appreciate things that you’ve done,” he shared. “I’ll do it as long as I can.”