At the University of Portland's annual State of UP luncheon Tuesday, University president Rev. Mark L. Poorman C.S.C. announced the 35-acre riverfront property along the Willamette River will be named the Franz Campus in honor of the late Robert W. (Bob) Franz. A lead gift from the Franz estate has allowed the University to move forward with the development of the new academic, sports, and utilities complex.
"Bob Franz's support has been critical to making the University of Portland the preeminent Catholic university it is today," Fr. Poorman remarked to the audience. "In recognition of this gift and, truly, in honor of Bob's lifetime of giving to the University, I am delighted to announce that the lower riverfront campus has been named the Franz Campus."
"At UP, we are as mindful about the environment outside our classrooms as we are about what takes place within them. And this past year, we've seen changes to both the educational landscape and the physical landscape of The Bluff," Fr. Poorman added. "We call many projects transformative, and they are, but the Franz Campus along with the new academic center, Dundon-Berchtold Hall, currently under construction, will truly bring significant change to The Bluff."
Initial work has already begun with improvements to the infrastructure and preparations to the property, which the Franz gift will help support. Eventually, the Franz Campus will be home to two additional soccer practice and intramural lighted fields, a tennis center, a track and field facility, an environmental research space for hands-on application of the science curriculum, a rowing center and dock, a new physical plant building, and additional campus parking.
The University recently announced a gift of $10 million from Mike and Arlette Nelson, part of which provides the lead gift for the new physical plant building which will be named in honor of Mike Nelson's father, Walter E. Nelson. In addition, several commitments for the development of other new facilities, including gifts to the rowing center from Mike and Christi DeFrees, the Names Family Foundation, and longtime UP benefactors Al and Sue Corrado, were announced at the State of UP event.
The Franz Campus project continues a wave of capital construction and improvements at the University. Construction recently began this winter on Dundon-Berchtold Hall, a new academic center with over 63,000 sq. ft. of classrooms, offices, the Brian Doyle Lecture Hall, and the Dundon-Berchtold Institute for Applied Ethics.
Since 2009, the University has constructed or renovated 11 other new buildings or structures on the 150-acre campus. Most recent construction includes the Beauchamp Recreation & Wellness Center (August 2015) and Lund Family Hall (August 2016), as well as the complete renovation of the Pilot House (October 2015), which houses a pub, student social space, and the University's bookstore.
Source: University of Portland