Portland State University, the region’s major urban university, will receive $1 million from the Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust for the University Honors Program. This contribution—which includes the third-largest gift to establish a scholarship endowment in PSU history—will attract high-achieving students to Portland and stimulate economic activity in the region.
“Million-dollar gifts are few and far between, especially in Oregon,” said PSU President Wim Wiewel. “This is a big win for the University Honors Program in particular and for PSU and Portland in general. Our University attracts bright, talented students from around the world and these students become productive, skilled members of our community.”
About 75 percent of the gift will support University Honors Program students through scholarships, research and internships, visiting scholar seminars and a new urban ecology laboratory. The gift includes $500,000 for honors program scholarships in the form of a challenge grant, calling on PSU to raise an additional $500,000 in scholarship gifts.
Raising scholarship funds is a top priority at PSU, Wiewel said. The University’s current scholarship endowment is just $17 million. This school year, the University disbursed approximately $2.9 million in donor-funded scholarships—enough to serve just 958 students with an average award of $3,123.
“As the largest University in this state, we do not have the scholarship funds we need to serve our students,” said Wiewel.
The University Honors Program offers a challenging educational experience for academically motivated undergraduates. Enrollment has more than doubled in the past two years—from 153 in 2010 to 343 this year. This new gift is expected to help boost that figure to 600 within five years.
Two-thirds of PSU graduates remain in the Portland metropolitan area after graduation—stimulating economic growth and creating a large pool of valuable employees for regional employers.