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Donor Profiles

The work of the College of Urban and Public Affairs would not be possible without the generosity of our alumni, donors and friends. Please take a moment to learn more about some of the important supporters who have helped our students on their own paths to success.

The Yaden Family  

The Yaden family has established an endowed scholarship fund to benefit undergraduate students each year in the college. David and Janice come from hardworking, blue collar, supportive, but poor families, and their goal for this endowment to help students from similar backgrounds.

 After Janice and David married in the early 1970s, they began their careers in the Oregon political scene. David’s career has included running the congressional office of Representative Don Bonker, working for Neil Goldschmidt at both the city and state levels and at the US Department of Transportation. David has also worked as the head of the Oregon Department of Energy. He has placed great emphasis throughout his career on bringing topics such as energy and transportation to higher education.

 Janice has dedicated her career to helping women and children. She also worked under Neil Goldschmidt in child advocacy. As Goldschmidt’s advisor for human resources, Janice helped mold his children’s agenda to keep youth out of trouble by strengthening local nonprofit organizations. She also served on the Commission on Children and Families under Governor Barbara Roberts.


The Bonner Family

The Ernie Bonner Equity Planning Endowed Scholarship was established from a gift by Ernie’s wife, Lynn, and the Bonner family in honor of the late Ernie Bonner, director of the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and long-time civic activist. The fund provides scholarships to students pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning or a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and are interested in using planning to advance social equity in our society.

Ernie Bonner came to Portland in 1973 and left as the city’s planning chief in 1978. He served as a METRO councilor, as president of Sunlight Energy Systems, as a distributor of solar equipment, and then as energy conservation manager for the Bonneville Power Administration. Prior to his passing, he held a position on the Portland Planning Commission.

 

The Horner Family 

William B. Horner established this endowment in honor of his late son, Bradley, in hopes that others will choose to serve the public in law enforcement. After growing up in Texas, Brad made his way to Portland where he served as a corrections deputy with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years. The scholarship is intended to lighten the financial burden for outstanding undergraduate Criminology majors who plan to pursue a career in the criminal justice system.

 

 


Sumner Sharpe and Margaret Strachan

Together, Sumner Sharpe and Margaret Strachan have worked to create change within the city of Portland as well as on the global level. Sharpe has been in the planning practice since 1958 and retired from his practice in 2011.  His career included teaching planning in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer; working in city planning in Vancouver, Washington; as well as regional planning in Portland; and directing a non-profit economic opportunity agency in Clark County, Washington.

 Margaret Strachan served as a Portland City Commissioner from 1981-1986. She was also the first woman elected—not appointed—to that office in her first term. She was commissioner in charge of planning, transportation and housing. During her term in office the Pearl District rezoning occurred, setting the stage for redevelopment.

Sharpe and Strachan established an endowed scholarship fund in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning to help students who are 30 or older and are pursuing careers as professional planners, and who have made the commitment to pursue a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at Portland State.

 

Milan Svoboda

During his lifetime, Milan Svoboda dedicated himself to his passion for teaching. He was brought up by a family of teachers, and his children have also managed to follow in his footsteps by choosing careers in education. Milan was strongly committed to his students, the University, as well as his community. One of the many ways Milan was able to share the things he loved was as the former director of Portland State’s School of Community Health.

Prior to his passing, Milan created the Milan Svoboda Memorial Fund to assist students in their education at the School of Community Health.

 

Ron & Jane Cease

Public involvement has been a life force for Ron and Jane Cease since they were children.

The couple moved to Oregon in 1966, when Ron was invited to teach government at Portland State. The University had a special place in his heart. He attended PSU’s precursor, the Vanport Extension Center, after being granted an $81 scholarship. The amount is laughably small by today’s standards, but in 1949, it covered Ron’s tuition for an entire year.

And the rest is history for anyone who knows Oregon politics and the evolution of PSU. Jane was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1978 and was re-elected in 1980 and 1982. Ron won a seat in the Oregon House in 1984, the same year Jane was elected to the Oregon Senate. Meanwhile, Ron founded PSU’s Public Administration program in 1976. Today it is one of the foundational elements of the Hatfield School of Government.

When Ron retired from his full-time professorship in 2000, he wanted to make sure the spirit of the couple’s involvement at PSU lived on. “I had a good career at Portland State,” he said. That’s why they started the Ron Cease Founders Award. These scholarships provide financial assistance to master’s degree students who are planning careers in public service. Last year, five students received scholarships through this fund.