Janice Cowan Professorship for Baker County 4-H

Dec. 31, 2015

In 2015 Lee and Connie (Howard) Kearney established the first endowed professorship supporting Baker County 4-H. The endowment honors the program’s former leader, OSU Extension faculty member Janice Cowan, who retired following 25 years of service with 4-H and Baker County. The professorship will support high-impact programs, such as school garden projects, after-school activities, and increased opportunities for youth to engage in statewide programs.

The Kearneys, who live in Vancouver, Washington, are among OSU’s most active volunteer leaders and philanthropists, making transformational gifts supporting the College of Engineering, OSU-Cascades, athletics, and more.

Connie has served many years on the Oregon 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees. A retired attorney, she grew up in Baker County, where she participated in 4-H. When she was a teen, a statewide 4-H summer conference first brought her to the OSU campus, where she would later go to college and meet Lee, who would become an executive with Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc.

“4-H played a pivotal role in my life. 4-H taught me how to cook, sew and can,” Connie said. “We believe an endowment is the best way to ensure that funds are always available to support leadership for these young people. We hope our challenge grant will encourage others to financially support Baker County 4-H.”