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Mary H. Cumpston Award for Service to Students

The Cumpston Award for Service to Students is given annually to an academic professional or unranked University administrator who has demonstrated excellence in the area of service to students.

Mary H. Cumpston was a beloved colleague whose enduring contributions to Portland State University and to the community have enhanced the development and delivery of student services.  Mary graduated from Portland State in 1957 and returned to the University after seven years of teaching in Portland Public Schools.  She served as director of the PSU Career Center for most of her career until retirement in 1999.  During her tenure, she was a tireless student advocate.  Her work touched the lives of countless men and women, fostering friendships and creating opportunities for student success in college and beyond.  She was known for her ability to bridge the academic and administrative spheres of influence, and was elected presiding officer of Faculty Senate in 1981-82.  Her work centered on methods to improve educational access, persistence, and post-graduate professional preparedness. She was known to see the best in everyone and sought ways to help all those with whom she came in contact to achieve full personal and professional potential.  Her gift was the ability to identify individual and University needs and to match these needs with creative and effective solutions.  Mary embodied the meaning of excellence in service to students and to Portland State University.


2013 Winner - Robert Mercer