Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture

December 31, 1993

It is a Christmas story Oregon State University will never forget. Al Hundere, a 1938 graduate in mechanical engineering, read about OSU religion scholar Marcus Borg in an issue of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine. Hundere was so impressed with Borg's studies on the historical Jesus that he was inspired to contribute $1.5 million to establish a chair in religion and culture. In honor of Professor Borg's work, Hundere's check was dated Christmas Day, 1993.

A native Oregonian, Hundere was an inventor, leader, and authority in the aviation industry. He also was known nationally for his work in developing laboratory tests for the petrochemical industry. Although he had neither a background in religious studies nor a particular religious agenda, he recognized the importance of religion in shaping attitudes, politics, and the lives of people around the world. He passed away in 1996.

Because of financial pressures, Oregon State's religious studies department had terminated in 1991, with remaining faculty transferred to philosophy. The Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture allowed the philosophy department to enlarge its offerings and activities and continues to provide OSU with ongoing leadership in the field of religious scholarship and inquiry.


Current Faculty Holder

Courtney S. Campbell headshot
Courtney S. Campbell