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Gifts to PSU more than double in three years
Author: Tanya Gross, University Advancement
Posted: August 7, 2013

Portland State University has achieved a significant upswing in private gifts, raising a record $29.3 million from supporters in fiscal year 2013.

More than 10,500 individuals, businesses and foundations provided vital philanthropic support to Portland State in the year ending June 30, 2013. University fundraising has more than doubled over the last three years—from $12.8 million in fiscal year 2010 to $20.4 million in 2012 and $29.3 million in 2013. 

“There is great momentum here at PSU,” said President Wim Wiewel. “Our donors are making an impact on the lives of students, and we are thankful for their outpouring of support.” 

With nearly 30,000 students, PSU enrolls and graduates more students than any other university in Oregon. Yet state funding provides less than 20 percent of its budget, increasing the burden on tuition and private gifts. 

Scholarships are a top fundraising priority. Twenty-six percent of gifts to the university in fiscal year 2013 were for scholarships and student aid, including a gift of $1.5 million—the largest gift to scholarship in PSU history. PSU raised seven gifts of $1 million or more during the year—another PSU record. 

“Our donors care about PSU’s ability to deliver excellence in education and maintaining access for all. We are experiencing great success in raising seven-figure gifts,” said Vice President for University Advancement Françoise Aylmer. “We are grateful for this level of support and for the increased number of donors.”

Currently, other fundraising priorities are capital projects, which received 35 percent of gifts, including $5 million from an anonymous donor for the Stott Educational Center/Viking Pavilion. The University plans to renovate its current athletic facility with study and other academic areas and a 5,500-seat arena for University and community use. Gifts to capital projects also included $2.3 million from Arlene Schnitzer for the College of the Arts’ three-story “glass tower” with gallery and studio spaces visible from Broadway.

In addition to the $29.3 million gift record, PSU raised $9 million in conditional pledges, including $7 million from an anonymous donor for the School of Business Administration building project. The project will triple the size of the school, adding classrooms and making other improvements. In June, the Oregon Legislature approved bonds of $40 million for the business school project and $24 million for the Viking Pavilion project.

(Above: Architectural rendering of the School of Business Administration building project.)