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$5 million gift advances Viking Pavilion project
Author: Portland State Magazine
Posted: August 31, 2012

PRESIDENT WIM WIEWEL recently announced a large gift to PSU: $5 million to help fund the Viking Pavilion project, a dramatic makeover of the campus athletics facility into a vibrant 5,500-seat community center.

This commitment from a private individual, who chooses to remain anonymous, demonstrates “tremendous support for the University and for Portland, and we are so grateful,” says Wiewel. “The Viking Pavilion will not only serve as a focal point for traditional undergraduate academic and social activities; it will also host a wide variety of public events.”

The proposed $44 million project will transform the Peter W. Stott Center, located on Park Avenue at the southern tip of campus, into a lively campus landmark for academics, the arts, and athletics. Tall glass windows and a main entrance will open the building’s east façade onto the South Park Blocks, and energy-efficient design and construction will demonstrate PSU’s commitment to sustainability.

“The architectural design of the building highlights transparency and accessibility. It exemplifies PSU’s success in integrating the classroom and the city,” says Françoise Aylmer, vice president for University Advancement. “And I am proud that as a leading urban university we are able to secure seven- and eight-figure gifts.”

The gift for the Viking Pavilion project follows a milestone year of fundraising success at PSU. The University received more than $19.7 million in gifts in the 2011-12 school year, a 12 percent increase over the previous year and a 37 percent increase since fall 2010. 

The proposed pavilion will more than triple PSU’s current seating capacity and support a variety of University functions, including an academic center for student advising, tutoring and studying; classrooms for health and physical education; and an arena that seats 4,800 for sports events and 5,500 for academic symposiums.

The pavilion will also be an important community asset, filling a void in Portland for a mid-sized public venue with potential to:

• Host more than 140 public events a year, including lecture series, traveling performances, charity auctions, banquets, graduations, and sports events;
• Attract more than 300,000 people to downtown Portland to attend these events;
• Generate more than $7.5 million in event-related spending, adding to the University’s more than $1.4 billion annual regional economic impact;
• Create 396 construction jobs; and
• Support the equivalent of 24 permanent full-time jobs.

In addition to at least $20 million in private contributions, PSU is requesting $24 million in state bonds to fund the project. For more information about the Viking Pavilion, please call Debbie Hutchins at 503-725-8135 or email debbie.hutchins@pdx.edu.