PSU Launches $300 Million Fundraising Campaign

psu sign

Portland State University today announced the largest fundraising campaign in its history, with the goal of raising $300 million in philanthropic contributions by 2021.

“Let Knowledge Serve: the Campaign for PSU” focuses on four key areas: supporting students, empowering faculty, enhancing campus facilities and powering initiatives to address urban challenges and opportunities. 

“We are thrilled to launch this exciting campaign,” PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi said. “Everything we do at Portland State — from creating pathways for student success to enabling the groundbreaking research of faculty to enabling regional economic development opportunities — affirms our powerful mission to ‘let knowledge serve our city’ and world.” 

Gifts to The Campaign for PSU will support student success; recruit and retain world-class faculty; and create a campus to enable learning, discovery and connection. Key giving opportunities include scholarships and cooperative educational internships for students, named professorships for faculty, and support for centers of excellence, including PSU’s Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative and Digital Cities Testbed Center.

“Philanthropic support for students is at the heart of this campaign,” said PSU Foundation President Bill Boldt. “It is the ultimate game changer, easing financial barriers and creating new opportunities to learn by doing, one of the hallmarks of a PSU education.”

The campaign takes its name from PSU’s motto, Let Knowledge Serve the City, which was established three decades ago to honor the deep connections between Portland and its urban research university, and to celebrate a shared vision of progress and vitality.

“Every great city needs a great university,” said PSU Foundation Board Chairman and Portland attorney Walter Van Valkenburg. “I believe that PSU and Portland rise together, and that the vitality sparked at PSU creates a ripple effect that benefits every Oregonian.”  

Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, whose district includes PSU, said: “For so many Oregonians, the path to a brighter tomorrow travels through Portland State University. It is sustained investment in PSU that seeds opportunities, inspires innovations, animates our diverse community and truly lets knowledge serve the city and state."

The campaign kicked off at the 2018 Simon Benson Awards Dinner presented by Bank of America, held Thursday at the Oregon Convention Center. The evening’s honorees were Columbia Sportswear’s Tim and Mary Boyle, and PSU alumni and NFL standout Neil Lomax.

In a surprise moment that drew a standing ovation, Tim and Mary Boyle announced they would match the evening’s table sponsorships, bringing the total raised during the Simon Benson Awards Dinner to more than $2 million. 

The evening featured performances by former PSU student and Grammy award-winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding and her PSU mentor Darrell Grant, as well as remarks from PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi, student speakers and others. More than 1,200 donors, advocates and community leaders were in attendance.

The campaign’s silent phase began in 2012, and to date more than $214 million has been raised in gifts and pledges. Contributions have supported student scholarships and faculty research, and helped construct numerous transformational facilities on campus, including the Viking Pavilion at the Peter W. Stott Center, home to PSU athletics; the Karl Miller Center, home to the PSU School of Business; and the 724 SW Harrison Building (formerly Neuberger Hall). 

Source: Portland State University

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