TRIBUTE TO THE OREGON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY -- (Extensions of Remarks - May 05, 2004)
HON. GREG WALDEN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2004
Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share with you and my colleagues my distinct pride in a winning institution in my district, the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT). Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, OIT is nationally recognized for its high standards and results-oriented approach to education. The school motto, "First Hired, Highest Paid," is no idle boast. A few years ago I had the honor of serving as commencement speaker during an OIT graduation, and nearly all of the graduates I addressed had been offered high-paying jobs.
Ably led by President Martha Anne Dow, OIT pursues excellence in every aspect of the college experience, from research and technology application to career-oriented instruction and competitive athletics.
Mr. Speaker, it is in the realm of athletics that OIT most recently demonstrated its championship mettle when the men's basketball team won the NAIA Division II National Title. Seeded 16th, the OIT Hustlin' Owls were not favored to win, but when the final buzzer sounded they had proven themselves to be the best team in the nation among NAIA Division II teams. Their series of upset victories may have surprised some sportscasters, but it was no surprise to the fans of OIT who have come to expect great things from the Hustlin' Owls under the phenomenal coaching of Danny Miles.
Coach Danny Miles, a NAIA Hall of Fame coach, took over a losing basketball program at OIT thirty-three years ago and never looked back. Racking up 734 career wins, Danny ranks 17th on the all-time career victory list. It is no surprise that this year he was named NAIA Coach of the Year, an honor that he shares with his able staff: Mike Pisan, Doug Kintzinger, Jarrod Davis, Milijia Mitrovic, and Aristide Agnimel.
Although Coach Miles is proud to have won the national championship, he is even more proud of the fact that he, his staff, his team, and the OIT fans won the James Naismith Award for sportsmanship. This was not just a victory of superior athleticism and coaching; it was a victory of strong character.
I join the OIT family in my pride over senior Kevin Baker's winning the tournament's Most Valuable Player award. Baker was also joined by teammates Florian Houget and Todd Matthews on the All-Tournament team. It goes without saying that a championship performance involves every team member, so I also want to share with you my pride in Hustlin' Owls Michael Nunes, Jared Hall, Levell Hesia, Joe Billings, David Michaelis, Matt Johnson, Elijah Page, and Alex Carlson, each of whom contributed so much to their team's winning effort.
Mr. Speaker, for those who are familiar with the story of the Klamath Basin in my district, you know the story of a strong, proud people who live their lives with heart and determination. It is no surprise that the bond between OIT and the Klamath community is so strong. They share the character of winners who never, ever give up. We can all find inspiration from OIT's achievements, many more of which I expect to recognize in the future.