Betty Jean "Bee Jai" Repp, former director of the Extended Campus Program in Salem, died May 7. She was 61. Dr. Repp developed the Salem program, which assisted hundreds of students in graduating from PSU. "She specialized in convincing students who didn't think that they were university material that they could do it," wrote David Peterson del Mar, History faculty, "and once they started that journey she threw everything she had into helping them cross the finish line." Last week, Dr. Repp was posthumously awarded the PSU Global Diversity Award. Services for Dr. Repp were held May 9 and May 11.
The Extended Campus Program in Salem closed in 2013, but during its existence, Dr. Repp developed many of its successful programs as well as PSU's first fully online BA/BS in social science and liberal studies. The programs were created in collaboration with PSU colleges and departments and with several community colleges, including Chemeketa, Mt. Hood and Portland. Dr. Repp led the collaborative development of co-admission with Chemeketa Community College and wrote articulation agreements that today assist all community college graduates with a seamless transfer to PSU.
Dr. Repp recruited the first class at the Salem Extended Campus and was with them when they graduated in 1998. "I believed in the vision of 'if you build it they will come!' and they did by the hundreds," wrote Dr. Repp for the 2013 Length of Services Awards Ceremony, where she was recognized for 20 years at PSU. Dr. Repp was particularly proud of developing the “First American Education Series," “Fiction: The Full Spectrum” and “Community Conversations” programs. She wrote the first proposal for “New Leadership Oregon,” and was on its board for the first several years.
At the 2014 President's Diversity Awards ceremony, Dr. Repp was awarded the Global Diversity Award posthumously. She was recognized for her work at the Salem Center and for establishing online higher education training for students in Ghana. She was planning to set up a similar program in the Northern Mariana Islands. The award was accepted by Dr. Repp's daughter, Joy Lincke.