Gifts to PSU increase 22 percent, a record level of support for the University
Author: Suzanne Pardington, University Communications
Posted: September 8, 2011

Philanthropic support to Portland State University (PSU) rose more than 22 percent in 2010-11, making it the University's most successful fundraising year ever. PSU raised $15.7 million this year, up from $12.8 million the previous year.

PSU President Wim Wiewel said the unprecedented level of giving to PSU shows that donors understand the importance of investing in PSU's people, programs and places, especially as the economy struggles to recover from recession. 

"We are extremely grateful to the many individual donors, corporations and foundations who continue to give generously to the university," Wiewel said. "Their support is critical to Portland State's future as an engaged urban university with world-class students, faculty and facilities."  

"Private support makes an immediate and significant difference for the University, allowing faculty to tackle difficult research projects, disadvantaged students to afford higher education and the University to form strategic partnerships that benefit the community and the economy," said Françoise Aylmer, vice president for University Advancement. 

Some examples:

Thanks to $1.8 million in gifts, the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank and Plant Conservation Program moves its collection of more than 3 million seeds this year into a new space in PSU's newly renovated Science Research and Training Center. The gifts will endow the position of seed bank and plant conservation director and fund the Gilbert and Laurie Meigs Conservation Education Endowment Scholarship.  

A $400,000 gift from the JYN Foundation paid for 234 solar panels to be installed on the roof of Lincoln Hall, the last step to gaining Platinum LEED certification, the highest level of building sustainability. 

A longtime PSU friend and business/civic leader provided $150,000 to support President Wiewel's Equal Access initiative, a fund that provides scholarships to underrepresented Oregon students who have encountered obstacles in pursuing higher education.

These donations, combined with thousands of others, make a tangible impact on all areas of the University and help advance PSU's dual mission of access and excellence. 

"This is just the beginning of what we believe is game-changing philanthropy for Portland State," Wiewel said.