Miller Foundation Gift Sends "Building Our Future" Campaign Over $100 Million
Author: David Santen, Office of Marketing and Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: November 16, 2005

A gift of $1 million by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation brings the total raised by Portland State’s Building Our Future fundraising campaign to over $100 million in private support.

This is not the first time the campaign—the University’s first—has exceeded its goal; an initial mark of $90 million was raised to $100 million during the quiet phase of the campaign, while a feasibility study at the outset of the campaign recommended a goal of $75 million. As of October 30, 2005, the campaign had raised $100,709,757.64.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Miller Foundation for their ongoing generosity and confidence in Portland State University,” said PSU President Daniel O. Bernstine. “Jimmy and Marion Miller’s legacy lives on in the students, faculty and programs they support here. The Foundation has championed advances in our facilities and academic programs, and increased financial support for students—creating an environment in which students and faculty can do their best work.”

The Building Our Future campaign continues toward its June 2006 completion date with an intensified focus on raising scholarship dollars, thanks in part to the Miller Foundation’s pledge, $250,000 of which is to be used toward matching any individual’s or organization’s first-time donation to the University designated for scholarships of up to $20,000 each.

“The Miller Scholarship Challenge offers us an enormous opportunity,” said Cassie McVeety, vice president for University Relations. “Portland State serves more students with financial need than any university in Oregon. It’s our mission as a public university to open the door to any student who has the desire to learn, regardless of their ability to pay. The Miller Challenge and the gifts that it will inspire represent a major investment in our region’s future prosperity and quality of life.”

In response to the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act (KETRA) passed by the U.S. Congress in September, charitable cash donations to qualified charities during the period August 28, 2005–December 31, 2005, are now 100-percent deductible (under current law individuals may deduct charitable contributions in cash up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income, with additional restrictions on itemized deductions). Both Portland State University and the PSU Foundation qualify under KETRA regulations. “It’s an excellent time to consider making a gift,” McVeety said.

The remaining $750,000 of the $1 million Miller Foundation gift will be used toward purchase of real estate adjacent to the Portland State campus, providing additional classroom and office facilities. The Miller Foundation and the Miller family have given more than $5.1 million to the University over the course of the campaign.

The comprehensive Building Our Future campaign has contributed to much of the recent growth on campus, including projects such as the Native American Student and Community Center, renovations in the Millar Library, the naming of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, and construction of the Northwest Center for Engineering, Science and Technology, due to open in January 2006.

The campaign has also improved and upgraded research facilities and equipment, endowed professorships and funded programs designed to attract and retain top faculty members, such as the James DePreist Visiting Professorship in Ethnic Art and the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies.

For more information about Portland State University’s Building Our Future campaign and support opportunities, visit or call 503-725-4PSU.

Portland State University, Oregon's only urban university, is the largest and most diverse in the state system. The University's position in Oregon's economic and cultural center allows for deep community engagement and the creation of partnerships with hundreds of organizations throughout the region—partnerships that give Portland State students valuable learning opportunities as they solve real-world problems of business and community. Portland State offers more than 100 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as graduate certificates and continuing education programs. PSU serves more students and confers more master's degrees annually than any other Oregon university.


# # #

Cassie McVeety (503-725-5033)
University Relations

For Immediate Release (#05-162)