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July 12, 2014

Services set for former chancellor Paul Risser

NORMAN — A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church for former higher education chancellor Paul Risser, who died Thursday at age 74.

Risser was chief operating officer of the University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet and executive director of EDGE, a statewide economic development organization.

“The OU family is saddened by the death of Paul Risser and extends our deepest sympathy to his wife, Les Risser, and other family members,” said OU President David L. Boren. “Paul Risser has made a lasting contribution not only to the University of Oklahoma but also to higher education in our state. He has helped the people of Oklahoma better understand that excellence in higher education is absolutely essential if we are to improve the economic opportunities and quality of life in our state.

“As chairman of the University of Oklahoma’s Research cabinet, he has also helped diversify our state’s economy by increasing investment in our universities’ research base.”

Risser graduated from Blackwell High School and attended Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, where he received a bachelor of arts in 1961, as well as an honorary degree in 1994. He earned his masters and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1965 and 1967, respectively.

He served as chief of the Illinois Natural History Survey, provost and vice president for research at the University of New Mexico, president of Miami University in Ohio, president of Oregon State University and acting director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Paul G. Risser Scholarship Fund at the University of Oklahoma. Checks may be written to the University of Oklahoma Foundation, 100 Timberdell Road in Norman.

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