"Building Our Future" Campaign Closes With $114 Million Raised
Author: David Santen, Office of Marketing and Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: September 7, 2006

Portland State University has completed its first comprehensive fundraising campaign with nearly $114 million raised.

“The overwhelming success of this campaign is a testament to the growing support for Portland State University across the region, and to the many lives that the University affects each day,” said PSU President Daniel O. Bernstine. “I want to thank the donors, the volunteers, and the faculty and staff who’ve worked to bring Building Our Future to a successful close.”

The “Building Our Future” campaign provided critical support during a time of unprecedented growth at Portland State, generating money for new and renovated buildings, scholarships and professorships, and innovative programs and research. Building Our Future began in 1999 with a more modest projection of $75 million. With $74 million already raised, the University kicked off the “public phase” of the campaign with a new goal of $100 million at its 2004 Simon Benson Awards dinner. The campaign concluded June 30, 2006 at $114 million.

Portland State University, along with a majority of the public universities in the United States, has altered its financial model in recent years as a response to a decline in state support, moving toward an increased reliance on a combination of private funds (tuition and philanthropy) and federal support. Increasing the number and amount of donations has proven critical to sustaining the University’s mission and role in the region. The Building Our Future campaign has contributed crucial funds while building a platform for continued growth in private support.

“Private philanthropy is critical to Portland State University, and we are extremely pleased that so many have invested in the future of our community by contributing to the success of our students, faculty, programs, research and facilities,” said Cassie McVeety, Portland State’s vice president for University Relations. “We are extremely grateful to the thousands of donors who made this campaign a huge success.”

One of the campaign’s primary goals was to develop new and existing scholarship funds. The Building Our Future campaign raised nearly $15 million for scholarships, which established 272 new scholarship accounts benefiting students in fields of study across campus. One example—the Marta and Ken Thrasher Scholarship—supports students planning to teach in areas of teacher shortages, such as math, science, bilingual education and special education.

The campaign also helped support 475 new and existing programs that link students, faculty and community in partnerships that help make life better in Oregon and beyond. One example is the new Center for Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication (CEMN), a signature research center of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, housed in Science Building 1. The CEMN provides students and researchers not just at Portland State, but across Oregon with state-of-the-art facilities for the characterization, measurement, and fabrication of nanoscale materials and devices.

Some of the campaign’s most visible initiatives led to construction of new buildings on campus, such as the Native American Student and Community Center, and most recently the Northwest Center for Engineering, Science and Technology—the new headquarters of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and the campaign’s centerpiece capital project. The Northwest Center supports growth in enrollment, research and industry collaborations, and also models the University’s commitment to sustainable practices with a design that recently garnered Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

The Building Our Future campaign attracted over 83,000 gifts from individuals and corporate entities, including 18,000 Portland State alums and 2,500 faculty and staff members. For more information, visit

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Source: Cassie McVeety, University Relation (503-725-4478)

For Immediate Release (#06-107)