Architecture student named recipient of first Opsis Architecture Scholarship
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: May 23, 2019

Makaveli GreshamPortland State University architecture student Makaveli Gresham has been selected as the recipient of the Opsis Architecture Scholarship. He is the first-ever student to receive the scholarship, which comes with a $2,000 award during the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Gresham, who is completing his junior year at Portland State University, is planning to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in Spring 2020. A student in PSU’s rigorous University Honors College as well as the Green Building Scholars program, he is also pursuing a second major in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. His architectural research and creative work are focused on architectural criticism and environmental, institutional, and economic sustainability.

“In the past three years, I have fallen in love with the discipline,” he says. “Although I am personally disappointed by the fact that only 2 to 3 percent of licensed architects in the United States are black, this motivates me to continue to pursue the discipline and hopefully place myself in a position to mentor and provide visibility for those who come after me.”

“I strive to find design justice for communities of color and those underrepresented or virtually invisible in the field,” he says. He hopes to bring more diversity to the practice of architecture, where only a tiny fraction of licensed architects are of color.

“This scholarship will . . . [help] alleviate the financial burden of pursuing architecture . . . giving me an advantage through more time (and hopefully sleep) to generate projects and assignments at a high level of craft, with a unique perspective and voice that is generally absent from what is built today.” 

The Opsis Architecture Scholarship, established in 2019, is intended to benefit a first-generation college student who is an Oregon resident pursuing architecture at either the undergraduate or graduate level. With preference given to students demonstrating financial need, a GPA of at least 3.0, and strong design talent, the scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis. 

Opsis Architecture created the scholarship in order to begin to nurture a new generation of architects who share the firm’s core principles of diversity, collaborative vision-making, environmentally conscious architecture, and community involvement. The scholarship will be awarded on an annual basis starting with the 2019-2020 school year. 

Learn more.

To make a gift or discuss options for supporting PSU architecture students and programs, contact:

Jaymee Jacoby, Senior Director of Development, College of the Arts
503-725-3396 |

Or, make a gift online at