Longtime UO leader Michael Eyster has been named First Citizen of Springfield in recognition of his many contributions to students and higher education as well as his service to the community.
Eyster is the senior associate vice president for student life and executive director of the University Health Center. He received the First Citizen award at a Springfield Chamber of Commerce banquet Jan. 16.
“It was humbling and an honor,” Eyster said. “And quite surprising.”
A Springfield resident for 20 years, Eyster said he finds community service both rewarding and enjoyable. “It feels very worthwhile,” he said.
Eyster served as the university’s housing director prior to joining the senior leadership team in student life. He has been at the UO for 23 years.
In addition, Eyster has served two terms on the Lane Transit District Board, including five years as the panel’s president. He is currently president-elect of the Springfield City Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
“His commitment to higher learning and the students that he has impacted alone warrant this award,” the Springfield Chamber said in announcing the honor.
Most recently, Eyster chaired the group’s Economic Development Committee and also has been the UO representative on the chamber’s board. He said that has helped him forge connections between the business community and the UO.
“There are places where we connect,” he said. “Certainly with the university being the economic engine that it is, any links we can make between the business community and the university is a benefit to both.”
As an example, Eyster said he has invited Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, director of the UO Career Center, to speak at the next meeting of the Economic Development Committee.
“I think there are businesses in town that would be very interested in knowing what our career center does, how we hope to prepare students for the world of work and where the connections might be between our graduating students and the places in the community that have jobs,” he said.
—By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications