Portland State University Establishes the Kamelia Massih Outstanding Student and Faculty Prizes in the Arts
Author: Kristen Basie
Posted: June 11, 2010

Kamelia-Massih.jpg (Portland, Ore.) May 26, 2010 – Donations to Kamelia Massih's memorial have contributed to the establishment of a permanent endowment for Portland State University's School of Fine and Performing Arts that will fund annual Kamelia Massih Outstanding Student and Faculty Prizes for PSU’s School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Upon the passing of former PSU student Kamelia Massih on March 19, 2010, her family requested that in lieu of flowers, her friends, family and colleagues donate to a memorial fund established at Portland State University in her honor. These contributions along with the donation of Dr. Massih's brother, PSU alumnus Fariborz Maseeh through his Massiah Foundation, created the Kamelia Massih Endowment for the Arts.

The Kamelia Massih Endowment for the Arts was established to recognize outstanding students and faculty in PSU's School of Fine and Performing Arts with annual prizes. One Kamelia Massih Outstanding Student Prize and one Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty Prize will be awarded on an annual basis to those individuals who have brought innovation to their discipline, demonstrated excellence in performing and/or fine arts and exemplify PSU's commitment to community engagement.

"The School of Fine and Performing Arts is honored to have the opportunity to recognize excellent students and faculty through a memorial for Dr. Kamelia Massih." – Dean Barbara Sestak, Portland State University's School of Fine and Performing Arts.

A beloved Portland optometrist, Dr. Kamelia Massih, was a true American success story. Born and raised in Tehran, she came to the United States in 1978, initiated her studies in biology at Portland State University and subsequently graduated in 1981 from Oregon State University. After completing a doctorate in optometry at Pacific University, she opened her own practice, Beaverton Vision World in 1989. She later opened a second clinic in downtown Portland near the Portland State University campus. She cared deeply about others and gave her time and resources to a wide range of local and national charities. She was a dedicated wife and mother who loved travel, the outdoors and above all else, fine arts, music and dance. Dr. Massih passed away on March 19, 2010, after a three-year battle with cancer.

About The Massiah® Foundation

Massiah Foundation is established to make innovative, transformational or charitable contributions in areas within its expertise that can result in broad public benefit mainly in education, health, or arts/culture. For more information visit

About Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU) serves as a center of opportunity for over 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation's most livable cities, the University's innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The School for Fine and Performing Arts exemplifies Portland State's commitment to community engagement. PSU's motto, "Let Knowledge Serve the City," inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.