News

New Opsis Architecture Scholarship benefits first-generation students
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: April 11, 2019

Portland State University School of Architecture is proud to offer a new scholarship for first-generation Oregon architecture students, thanks to a generous gift by Portland-based Opsis Architecture.

The Opsis Architecture Scholarship will benefit a first-generation college student who is an Oregon resident pursuing architecture at the undergraduate or graduate level. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and strong design talent, as shown through the submission of a folio of design work. The scholarship will be awarded on a competitive basis, beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

“Opsis’s leaders are keenly aware of the rising cost of higher education and the challenges met by aspiring students, especially those from less-advantaged backgrounds,” said Clive Knights, director of the School of Architecture.

“An opportunity like the Opsis Architecture Scholarship can be a transformative spark in the life of a student, opening all kinds of possibilities for them as they envision their future. Our faculty and I applaud Opsis’s commitment to creating new opportunities for first-generation PSU architecture students and paving the way for them to become the next generation of architects in the Pacific Northwest,” Knights said.

Founded in 1999, Opsis Architecture is an award-winning firm that lists diversity, collaborative vision-making, environmentally conscious architecture, and community involvement as its core principles. The firm was named one of the top 50 firms in ARCHITECT magazine’s Architect 50 ranking for 2018. Their projects include many educational structures, including classroom buildings, recreation centers, learning centers, science labs, and libraries, as well as performing arts and athletic facilities.

The firm values its civic role and actively encourages employees to “balance the pursuit of meaningful architecture with studio outreach as volunteers and community builders,” as described in the scholarship agreement. “We reach out to the greater community through volunteer design support of not-for-profit organizations, schools, and cultural institutions.” In addition, “We embrace our responsibility as designers to improve the environment through the well-considered intervention of architecture. The interconnection of sustainable practices in our buildings and studio environment is a core value of Opsis culture.”

“Our School of Architecture’s programs nurture students as they learn the practice of making architecture for the common good,” said Knights. “Given Opsis’s dedication to diversity, sustainable architecture, collaboration, and community engagement, their new scholarship aligns with our school’s values and our vision for the future of architecture.” 

To make a gift or discuss options for supporting PSU architecture students and programs, contact Jaymee Jacoby, senior director of development in the College of the Arts at 503.725.3396 or jacobyj@psuf.org. Or make a gift online at https://www.pdx.edu/the-arts/give.