Al Reser Chair in Entrepreneurship
As a student in the College of Business, Al Reser came home early one day: he had finished an accounting exam that was supposed to take two hours in just 20 minutes. The quick turnaround surprised Reser’s professor, Earl Goddard, too. But Reser had gotten it right.
The two developed a mutual respect, and Pat Reser credits Goddard with nurturing and mentoring Al throughout his time at Oregon State. “I wanted a few more Dr. Goddards around,” she said in 2022 after she made a gift to create the Al Reser Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship in her late husband’s memory. The fund supports teaching excellence in the College of Business, honoring the business ingenuity and legacy of one of OSU’s most dedicated volunteers and impactful philanthropists.
The lessons Reser learned at OSU, as well as his unconventional approach to problem-solving, served him well. After earning his business administration degree in 1960, he bought his parents’ company, Mrs. Reser’s Salads, and renamed it Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc. He and Pat grew the company into an industry leader in refrigerated foods.
Reser served on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the Beaver Athletic Student Fund board and received many honors, including the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award (2010), Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), Governor’s Gold Award (2006) and Oregon Entrepreneur of the Year (2000). Before he died in 2010, he and Pat made transformative gifts to university projects including Reser Stadium, the Linus Pauling Science Center and Austin Hall.