School reaches $100 million fundraising goal

The university reached its $100 million goal for the Building Our Future fundraising campaign after a $1 million donation. Though a small sum compared to average donations given to other universities, fundraiser organizers say reaching the goal demonstrates that PSU is on its way to running successful campaigns in the future.

Many large universities like Portland State raise millions of dollars per year, but according to Donna Schaeffer, assistant vice president for university development, this is a good start for Portland State’s first campaign.

“We had a smaller prospect base than most schools, but we’ve built a donation base,” Schaeffer said, adding that it is hoped the goals will be higher and reached faster in the future.

Schaeffer added that fundraising has been one of President Daniel Bernstine’s goals during his tenure at Portland State while previous presidents did not make it a priority.

“We had three people in the development office in 1992,” Schaeffer said. “Now we have more than 20.”

The $1 million donation was given by the James and Marion Miller Foundation to be used towards scholarships and university renovations such as adding classrooms.

Each donor can designate how the money will be used, Schaeffer said. The Miller Foundation will be using $250,000 of the $1 million to set up a scholarship challenge fund to attract new scholarship donors.

To date, other donors have matched $40,000 of the $250,000, which will inclusively be used towards student scholarships. Schaeffer, who said close to 115 different scholarships will likely be made, hopes for more donations to match this challenge, as well as donations in general, before the June 2006 close date of the campaign.

Uses for the monies vary, but certain large projects will receive sizable portions of the funding.

The number one priority of the campaign will be the development and construction of the new engineering building on the PSU campus. That building and the existing Fourth Avenue Building together will be known as the Northwest Center for Engineering, Science and Technology.

An $8 million gift, which was the largest in Portland State’s history, was provided by the founder and president of the Maseeh Foundation, Dr. Fariborz Maseeh. In addition to the other donations made to this college, Miller said that this donation was used for more than just the construction of the new building.

“The $8 million gift was used for the construction of the Northwest Center, as well as to establish two professorships, five student fellowships, and an endowment for the dean of the Maseeh College,” she said.

Pat Haugen, director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, gave an extensive list of donors to the program. She said that each college has its own requirements for fundraising goals and success.

The MJ Murdock Charitable Trust and Intel Corporation have made many developments possible with donations.

Haugen, who deals with the science department, said that the physics center was able to purchase a transfusion microscope as one of the many developments, adding that equipment and programming, faculty support and scholarship support are generally what the money is used for. She added that alumni also make many important donations and that students should start thinking now about staying in contact with the school after graduation to do the same.

“Many alumni have been very supportive,” Haugen said. “Students should stay close and keep in touch with the university.”