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Tribute to Natale & Linda Sicuro

Sicuros left a legacy

In a little over a year we have learned of the passing of a couple instrumental in the development of (then) Southern Oregon State College: its president, Natale Sicuro, and his wife Linda Lou Sicuro. Their efforts helped to change the physical character of the campus, enrich programs and strengthen relationships between the college and local communities and beyond.

During the economic recession of the early 1980s and resultant cutbacks in the college’s state-funded budgets, Dr. Sicuro directed attention to other public and private fundraising. Integral to this was his focusing the goals and energizing the work of the college foundation. With her gracious demeanor, Linda was a partner in this endeavor as the president and she hosted meetings and socials in their home and elsewhere.

The outcome of building relationships with prospective donors, community organizations and other public entities was raising significant funding that served to broaden opportunities for both students and the community. Principal examples include saving and renovating the historic Swedenburg House; replacing dilapidated bleachers with a modern multi-use stadium; constructing the Schneider Museum of Art; encouraging donations to endow lectureships; and most importantly, stimulating increased giving for scholarships.

During his presidency, 1979-1986, Dr. Sicuro’s vision showed in the initial development of the north campus along East Main Street in Ashland. When the Oregon National Guard considered relocating from Ashland and its historic armory, he offered a long-term land lease to the Guard to enable it to retain an Ashland presence. Further, when told that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was selecting a site for a one-of-a-kind national forensics laboratory, he enthusiastically supported its being located on the Ashland campus. Lastly, to promote science literacy, he endorsed the building of a museum on the north campus that we know today as the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.

The Sicuros left a legacy that has been expanded on by their successors, ensuring that this special liberal arts university will serve students and the public for years to come.

Ronald Bolstad, SOU vice president for administration and finance, 1983-2005

Ashland





For more information, contact: Jeanne Stallman, Executive Director, Outreach and Engagement, dce@sou.edu.


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