Portland State University completed its first-ever fundraising campaign after seven years with $114 million raised, $39 million over its projected earnings.
Portland State President Daniel Bernstine said that the exceeded expectation of the "Building Our Future" campaign "is a tribute to the success of all the people that were involved in the campaign." He said that in this time of diminishing state funds for the Oregon University System, the funds raised will positively impact everyone in the university, from students to administrators.
"Because of a continuing challenge for resources, this $114 million will help units across the campus," Bernstine said.
Cassie McVeety, vice president for university relations, said that public dollars are a necessity at this time and that PSU is one of many universities who have implemented similar fundraising campaigns. She said that private institutions have been doing this sort of comprehensive fundraising for years.
"The reality is we have to raise private dollars to make it," McVeety said. President Bernstine also said that this fundraiser was essential for the university.
"Private philanthropy will become increasingly important to the university," Bernstine said.
The Building Our Future campaign has allocated $15 million to pay for 272 new scholarships. The campaign has also funded the creation of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science building as well as the Native American Student and Community Center.
McVeety said that the money will also go to Science Building 2, which she said is "desperately in need of renovation." Funds are also allocated for construction of the new recreation center that will take the place of the Portland Center for Advanced Technology (PCAT) building.
"We have a clear sense of what we are raising money for," McVeety said.
The campaign began in 1999 and entered into a public phase in 2004 with $74 million earned. An initial feasibility study held in the ’90s estimated that PSU would raise only $75 million, according to McVeety. She said that the success of the campaign could be attributed to the campus-wide support from not only the administration, but also faculty, students and the community.
"It was really a campus-wide effort," McVeety said.
McVeety called Bernstine the leader of the campaign and a "very effective fundraiser." She said if it were not for his efforts the campaign would not have been as successful. She said those involved with the campaign "were thrilled at the response of the alumni, friends and students."
McVeety said that the university is currently in a planning stage for their next comprehensive fundraising campaign.