College of Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrates students, philanthropy at annual Dean’s Circle Reception
Author: Chelsea Bailey
Posted: July 1, 2015

Dr. Karen Marrongelle, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, hosted the annual Dean’s Circle Reception at the new and innovative Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB) on Thursday, May 28. A record crowd of more than 70 faculty, alumni, and friends gathered to recognize the impact of philanthropy on the College’s students and programs and to celebrate a year of transition, growth and accomplishments.

In 2014–2015, Dean’s Circle members and PSU supporters provided more than $8 million to the College for student scholarships, faculty development, and programming. This year’s CLAS Dean’s Endowed Scholarship recipient Alyssa Clayton, an honors student and environmental science major, spoke about her PSU experience and the impact of her scholarship:

I grew up with a single mother who didn’t go to College, making me one of many first- generation college students at PSU. My mother always supported and encouraged me to do well in school but that hasn’t always translated into excelling within the school system.  I applied to Portland State because it was more affordable and I was familiar with some of the programs and faculty members. Receiving this [CLAS Dean’s] scholarship is representative of time – less time spent paying off debt and more time that I can dedicate to my studies and career goals, like working an upcoming internship with OHSU’s Public Health and Preventive Medicine School focusing on epidemiology research.”

The CLSB at Portland’s South Waterfront is a first-of-its-kind joint partnership between Portland State University, Oregon Health & Sciences University and Oregon State University. The state-of-the-art building and flexible classrooms expands PSU’s Biology and Chemistry departments and elevates the College’s ability to prepare students in the pre-health sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Circle recognizes individuals and organizations who contribute $1,000 or more to the College during the year. To learn more about joining the Dean’s Circle or to support the College or University, visit