Cameron Family Commits $10 Million to PSU School of Business to Honor Legacy of Gerry and Marilyn Cameron

Karl Miller Center


A $10 million gift from the estate of PSU alumnus and former U.S. Bank CEO Gerry Cameron and his wife Marilyn Cameron will benefit the PSU School of Business, supporting faculty and students, and enhancing a new career center. 

The gift was committed by the couple’s family — including daughter Sue Cameron McDonald and her husband Dave McDonald, and son Paul Cameron and his wife Megan Cameron — to honor their parents’ special relationship and longtime association with Portland State University. Their gift is the largest single contribution from a donor family ever received by PSU.   

“We are honored by this landmark philanthropic investment from a remarkable family whose ties to Portland State span more than 60 years,” said PSU President Stephen Percy. “By giving back in this way, they have created a forever legacy that will provide transformational opportunities for PSU and Oregon — especially for students who want nothing more than to get to work.”  

Gerry and Marilyn
PSU alumnus and former U.S. Bank CEO Gerry Cameron and his wife Marilyn Cameron.

Initially employed as a bookkeeper at U.S. Bank, Gerry Cameron rose through its ranks over a 42-year career to become CEO and Chairman of the Board. He credited the bank’s work-college scholarship program with making it possible for him to attend college and graduate from PSU with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1962.  

“Our mom and dad were both passionate believers in the power of education to change lives and to tangibly benefit our region,” said Paul Cameron. “They lived that journey in their own lives, and they were tremendously gratified to be able to provide similar opportunities to others — especially students juggling work and family life while attending college.”   

“Our parents deeply understood the connection between a strong urban business school and a thriving business community,” said Sue Cameron McDonald. “Our families are so pleased to acknowledge our parents’ confidence in Portland State with this meaningful gift from their estate.”     

The $10 million commitment will fund scholarships and emergency funds that directly support business students. It will also enable a number of firsts: the first fully endowed deanship and the first endowed chair at the PSU School of Business as well as the school’s first career center. The career center is intended to significantly enhance career guidance and job placement for business students and to help meet the diverse workforce needs of Oregon business and industry. 

“This gift is truly a game-changer,” said School of Business Dean Cliff Allen, whose vision to double down on career development for PSU’s first-generation business students helped inspire the Camerons. “I am privileged to have known Gerry and Marilyn and to understand their heart for our students. We are energized to build on this turning point they have made possible, and to bring our region’s most diverse business talent pipeline to Portland and Oregon.”    

The gift is also noteworthy as a philanthropic milestone for Portland State University.   

“A gift of this size is a point of pride for the entire university and its alumni,” said Sarah Schwarz, president of the PSU Foundation. “It signals that PSU can and should receive gifts of a size commensurate with its vital mission — and that is also terrific.”  

The Cameron family’s lifetime investment in PSU totals around $14.5 million, including contributions to the school’s capital campaign in 2008 as well as support for more than 60 student scholars and 10 outstanding business faculty leaders.