A Decade in Review

Portland State University has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Buildings were remodeled or built from scratch. Leadership changed hands. New student initiatives were launched. Biketown made its way to campus. Students documented a total solar eclipse.

Take a look at the last decade with us.



The Academic and Student Recreation Center opened its doors April 1, 2010. Lincoln Hall, built originally in 1911, also completed its 2-year, $30M renovation which earned the building PSU’s first LEED Platinum Award.



The Science Research & Teaching Center — formerly known as Science Building 2 in 1971 when it opened — benefited from a $46.5M modernization effort that wrapped up in November 2011.


The La Casa Latina Student Center where Latin@ students can meet and connect with community and allies celebrated its first year.



University Pointe apartments opened in September 2012. The 16-story dormitory offers 978 beds and marked nearly a 50% increase in student housing options at PSU.


The ReTHINK PSU initiative and Provost Challenge also launched, which provided funding for projects designed to create lasting change at PSU. 



The first campus-wide research symposium launched in 2013. Known as the Student Research Symposium, the event is held annually.


PSU was ranked one of America's six most bike-friendly universities by the League of American Bicyclists. 


PSU's Board of Trustees was created as a governing board by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber and convened for the first time in 2014.



PSU launched the Four Year Degree Guarantee initiative in September 2014. The program promised students they would get the support necessary to graduate in four years. If they didn’t, any additional classes were free.


The Robertson Life Sciences Building opened September 2014 to the tune of $200M. The building was originally known as the Collaborative Life Sciences Building.


Campus Public Safety overhauled to include sworn and unarmed officers.


The Build EXITO program, which provides mentorship in science research, launches thanks to a $24 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. 



Public transit on campus got a boost in 2015. The MAX Orange Line serving downtown to Milwaukie opened as well as the NS loop on the Portland Streetcar. The Tilikum Crossing also opened to pedestrians in September.


Smoking and tobacco was banned on campus the same year the OSHU-PSU School of Public Health was officially created.


And PSU developed a five-year strategic plan that focused heavily on equity and inclusion.



U.S. News & World Report names PSU one of the top 10 most innovative universities in the nation.

The summer of 2016 brought blurs of orange to campus as BIKETOWN bikes flooded the Urban Plaza in July

The new Pan-African Commons and the Pacific Islander, Asian & Asian American Student Center both celebrate their grand openings later that fall.



Not only did the Karl Miller Center open in September, but the university saw leadership change as well. Wim Wiewel retired as president and Rahmat Shoureshi was named PSU’s 9th President shortly thereafter.


Students photographed the historic total solar eclipse in August and sent weather balloons to the edge of space thanks to a NASA partnership to document the event.


PSU also launched the Four Years Free initiative, which provides free tuition to low-income Oregon freshmen.



Following on the success of Four Years Free, PSU launched another initiative: Transfers Finish Free. 


The Homeless Research & Action Collaborative and Digital City Testbed Center were founded with a focus on solving some of Portland’s biggest issues.


Viking Pavillion finally opens in April after $52.1 million in construction wraps up.


PSU Provost Sona Andrews retired and Provost Susan Jeffords was named to the position.



The Fariborz Maseeh Hall reopened in September 2019 after benefiting from $70 million in renovations.


Construction also started on the 4th and Montgomery building which will house the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.


The CO-OP program, which connects students with jobs related to their majors at local businesses, launched.


Rahmet Shoureshi resigned as PSU president and Stephen Percy was named interim president.


While serving as interim president, Percy launched a new initiative: Student Success. The initiative will roll-out several programs designed to help students succeed and offer support during early signs of academic trouble or during personal and financial crises.

— Story by Katy Swordfisk