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That anonymous $8 million gift to Portland State? It was from Rick and Erika Miller
Author: Matt Kish, Portland Business Journal
Posted: October 24, 2013

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Rick Miller, co-founder of the Rogue Venture Partners equity fund and a founder of the Avamere Group, (shown here in 2005) and wife Erika were awarded the Simon Benson Award for Philanthropy by Portland State University on Tuesday. The Millers were behind an anonymous $8 million gift to the PSU that kicked-off a $60 million effort to renovate and expand the university’s business school to put it on par with competitors like the University of Oregon and University of Washington.

 Portland State University held its annual fundraising gala Tuesday night. The event raised a record $1.2 million and answered a lingering question in the philanthropic community: Who made the anonymous $8 million gift to Portland State's business school this spring?

The gift kick-started a $60 million effort to renovate and expand the university’s business school to put it on par with competitors like the University of Oregon and University of Washington. It will nearly triple the size of the business school's footprint.

At its Simon Benson Gala Tuesday night, Portland State President Wim Wiewel saidRick Miller and wife Erika Miller were the donors. The university awarded the Millers the Simon Benson Award for Philanthropy.

He's a co-founder of Rogue Venture Partners, an equity fund. He's also afounder of the Avamere Group, which operates senior housing facilities.

Miller stepped down as CEO of Avamerelast year and assumed the role of chairman.

Since then his civic profile has been on the rise.

The Oregonian recently chronicled his effort to restore the house at the center of Oswego Lake. Oregonian political reporter Jeff Mapes has also reported that Miller's name has come up in political circles.

More than 1,800 attended the Portland State event.

"This was one of our most successful events to date,” vice president for University Advancement Françoise Aylmer said in a news release. "Not only did we raise funds, but we also raised the profile of philanthropy at Portland State University."

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper headlined the event and participated in a Q&A with Oregonian Editor Peter Bhatia.