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Giving: Winter 2008
Author: Katrina Ratzlaff
Posted: January 25, 2008

Lorry LokeyLokey gift elevates Judaic Studies

PROMINENT PHILANTHROPIST Lorry Lokey (pictured at left) raised the profile of PSU's rapidly growing Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies with a $1.5 million gift in August to create a new faculty chair. The Lorry I. Lokey Chair in Judaic Studies will support a scholar of international distinction with expertise in the history and culture of modern European Jewry.

"This gift is absolutely transformative," says Michael Weingrad, academic director of the program. "It meets student interest in the often glorious, often tragic story of modern Jewish experience in Europe, including, of course, the Holocaust. And it brings us a giant step closer to our vision of four, full-time faculty positions in Judaic Studies, teaching about Jewish life and culture in modern Europe, America, Israel, and the pre-modern world."

Portland State's program, founded in 2002 with leadership support from the Harold Schnitzer Family, takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the encounter of Jews and Judaism with the modern world. In five years, Weingrad and his colleagues have successfully launched a minor degree option with courses in Hebrew language and a broad range of cultural, social, religious, and political topics—as well as a summer program, annual lecture series, and partnerships with other community groups.

Lokey, who grew up in Portland, credits his early education at Alameda Elementary and Grant High School with shaping his character. In 1961, he founded Business Wire, a San Francisco-based international media relations company with over 25,000 clients. Now chairman emeritus of the company, Lokey devotes considerable energy to philanthropy. He has said publicly that he intends to give away the bulk of his fortune over the next decade. His gift to Portland State is one of many significant contributions, which he and his life partner, Joanne Harrington, have made in recent years to universities in the United States.

Annual fund tops $1 million

FOR THE FIRST time ever, Portland State's annual fund streaked by the million-dollar milestone. Contributions during 2006-2007 increased 20 percent over the previous year.

"We are thrilled to see annual support for PSU grow to this level," says Tracy Mendoza, director of Annual Giving. "This $1 million encompasses gifts of $1 up to $25,000 from thousands of Portland State alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends."

Student scholarships, faculty research, and programs and community partnerships throughout campus benefit from annual fund contributions.

"Our heartfelt thanks go out to every person who said 'yes' to a student caller from the Telefund, responded to a letter, gave online, or simply made a spontaneous contribution," says Mendoza. "It's impossible to overemphasize the impact of your support."

Nearly $17 million and growing

Individuals, businesses, foundations and community organizations contributed a total of $16,974,103 to Portland State during 2006-2007. Private gifts benefit every area of the University, from promising students and outstanding faculty to exceptional opportunities for learning, service, research, and achievement. To read more stories about the impact of giving to PSU and view the annual honor roll of donors, visit www.pdx.edu/giving. To make a 2008 gift to Portland State, visit www.foundation.pdx.edu.