Gainesville Native Named President of Oregan State

Oregan State University named former President of LSU King Alexander to be their next president. Alexander has built a strong university president track record. He served as president at Murray State from 2001 to 2005. Then, he served as president of Cal State, Long Beach from 2006 to 2013. Most recently, he served as president of LSU from 2013 to this month when joined Oregan State.

Background of the New President

While born in Louisville, Kentucky, Alexander was raised here in Gainesville. He attended Buchholz high school and played basketball for the bobcats. Alexander has three degrees. First, he graduated with a BA in political science from St. Lawrence University. He went to Oxford for his masters and got his PhD studying at Wisconsin.

His mother, Ruth Alexander, built quite a resume herself too. Ruth Alexander advocated for women’s sports at UF. Her efforts allowed women to play sports at Florida for the first time. Like King, Ruth has a doctorate. Richard Nixon appointed her to serve on the President’s Council of Sports, Fitness and Sports.

In 2012, she was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. Milligan College inducted her into its athletic hall of fame in 1998.

The family certainly has a storied history.

Early Responsibilities in New Role

Alexander joined the Sportscene to discuss his new position. Alexander said a priority of his was student debt. He feels every student needs to know what they are getting into before they go to a school.

Alexander is taking on the new role during the COVID-19 pandemic. It became a focus almost immediately.

When it comes to sports, he thinks the Pac-12 moving to conference-only play is good for now. While Oregan’s number of COVID-19 cases is low, the situation in other states, like Arizona, concerns him.

He admitted he’s not sure how schools in Florida will pull off fall sports either. With some conferences already canceling fall sports, they’ll keep a watchful eye.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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