OSU marine researcher, wife pledge $800K endowment

Bruce Mate is a marine mammal researcher who directs the institute

In this Jan. 18, 2014 photo, an endangered female orca leaps from the water while breaching in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that had been tracking the whales. The orca is from the J pod, one of three groups of southern resident killer whales that frequent the inland waters of Washington state. NOAA is issuing permits to the U.S. Navy, which wants to expand sonar and other training exercises off the West Coast but needs authorization because of the potential to harm marine mammals. Critics say more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales and other marine creatures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon State University researcher and his wife have pledged an $800,000 fellowship endowment to support graduate students at OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute.

Bruce Mate, a marine mammal researcher who directs the institute, and his wife Mary Lou say they want to help graduate students. The couple named the institute as a beneficiary of their estate, a commitment valued at $800,000. The university announced the gift last week.

The Gazette-Times reports the endowment will remain with the institute while its interest will help pay for monthly stipends for the institute’s first-year graduate students.

Bruce Mate is best known for pioneering the use of satellite-monitored radio tags to track endangered whales. Mary Lou Mate worked as a registered nurse before becoming a part-time research assistant.

The couple’s other jobs and business interests, such as remodeling homes and building duplexes, have led to the endowment.

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