The UO Board of Trustees welcomes two new members

Elisa Hornecker and Katharine Wishnia

UO alumna Elisa Hornecker is the newest member of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees, joining recently appointed Katharine Wishnia, who was seated on the board earlier this summer.

The Oregon Senate approved Hornecker’s appointment to the 15-member board of trustees Wednesday, following her nomination by Gov. Kate Brown. Wishnia’s appointment as the new student representative was approved in March.

Hornecker, who is stepping down from her seat on the UO Foundation board, will fill an at-large seat on the board of trustees. Wishnia is a Clark Honors College student studying political science, business administration and psychology.

In a statement to the Senate prior to her confirmation, Hornecker said she would welcome the opportunity to serve on a board committed to access, student success, excellence in academics and long-term sustainable planning.

“I’m passionate about our state and believe that excellence of our universities are linked to economic success, livability and social well-being of the entire state,” she said. “I also believe our universities must be inclusive, accessible and affordable to our students.”

Hornecker is a 1982 graduate of the UO with a double major in international studies and political science. Her husband and their son also are alumni, and one of the couple’s daughters is currently a senior at the university.

After graduating from the UO, Hornecker worked at The Bank of California in Portland as a vice president and investment manager. After 15 years she retired to be a full-time parent, volunteering at the children’s schools and with other youth organizations, where she continues to be involved.

Outside of her professional and philanthropic work, Hornecker enjoys traveling, reading, gardening and walking with her Siberian Husky, Beau.

Wishnia is a PathwayOregon scholarship student who now serves as a peer mentor to newer Pathway students. As a trustee, Wishnia said she hopes to continue working to improve student access and wants to also improve opportunities for students facing adversity and those from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

A native Oregonian from the greater Portland area, Wishnia attended Oregon Connections Academy, an online high school program. She received her diploma a year early at age 17, graduating in 2017 with a 4.17 GPA.

In addition to being a student in the honors college, Wishnia is actively involved in several on-campus clubs, often serving in leadership roles, including as the previous vice president of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Student Council and incoming president and previous social media chair of the Student Mental Health Advocates. 

In 2018, Wishnia was awarded the Clark Honors College Diversity Award for her work on the university’s IDEAL framework for inclusion, diversity, evaluation, achievement and leadership. In June, Wishnia was also honored as one of 25 Ducks, an award created by the Daily Emerald and Student Alumni Association, that recognizes 25 University of Oregon students for their dedication to helping the student body.