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Scholarship Created in Honor of Ernie Bonner
Author: Angela D. Abel (503-725-3773) Office of Marketing and Communications
Posted: February 10, 2006

The Ernie Bonner Equity Planning Endowed Scholarship has been created in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State.

The Bonner Scholarship was established from a gift by Ernie’s wife, Lynn, and the Bonner family in honor of the late Ernie Bonner, former director of the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and long-time civic activist. The fund will provide scholarships for students pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning or a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and who have stated interest in equity planning and/or the use of planning to advance conditions of social equity in our society. Due to a generous grant from the Miller Foundation, scholarship contributions to Portland State, from new donors, including contributions to the Bonner Scholarship, are being matched dollar for dollar.

“Ernie's hope for planning and policy-making was always that public policy would increase equity and fairness in society. He often wrote that planning should provide ‘more choices for those who have fewest’; that is the essence of Equity Planning,” said Lynn Bonner. “The family feels that this scholarship will keep Ernie’s concept of equity planning alive in coming generations of planners. We also appreciated the pleasure and privilege of working with the staff of the College of Urban and Public Affairs.”

“This is a very significant donation to the Toulan School, and represents an important new opportunity for current and prospective students. I am extremely proud that the Bonner Family has chosen the Toulan School to be the home for the Ernie Bonner Scholarship,” said Ethan Seltzer, director of the Toulan School. ”Ernie’s work was innovative and very important, two traits that I hope we can embody always in the work we do here.”

The scholarship was announced last week at a reception in the Parsons Gallery in the College of Urban and Public Affairs with guest speaker Norman Krumholtz, professor in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Krumholtz worked with Ernie Bonner in Cleveland, where Krumholtz served as planning director from 1969-1979. Ernie Bonner was the first person he hired, and remained a life-long friend. The Cleveland Policy Plan that Krumholtz and Bonner wrote was recently declared a “Planning Landmark” by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Before announcing the Ernie Bonner Equity Planning Endowed Scholarship Fund, Lynn Bonner made a visit to the PSU Library to view the digitized collection of her husband’s urban planning papers, which she donated to the library in 2005. The Ernie Bonner collection includes notes, clippings, and reports concerning housing, waterfront development, the downtown Park Blocks, the east bank of the Willamette River, city hall Portland Development Commission projects, and other documents relevant to Portland planning policies and history. Any questions regarding the Bonner collection should be directed to Rose Jackson, Urban and Public Affairs Librarian,

Ernie Bonner came to Portland in 1973 and left as the city's planning chief in 1978. He served as a Metro councilor, as president of Sunlight Energy Systems, as a distributor of solar equipment and then as energy conservation manager for the Bonneville Power Administration. More recently, he served on the Portland Planning Commission. Prior to Portland, Bonner was chief planner for Cleveland, overseeing the creation of that city's comprehensive plan. Bonner died in 2004, at the age of 71 after a long bout with cancer.

The Miller Challenge
As part of Portland State’s Building Our Future fundraising campaign, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Fund will match a total of $250,000 in scholarship gifts from first-time Portland State donors, resulting in an additional $500,000 towards the University’s goal. The gift was part of the Miller Fund’s $1 million donation this past fall that helped Portland State top the $100 million Building Our Future campaign goal.

College of Urban and Public Affairs

The College of Urban and Public Affairs is comprised of three schools: the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, the School of Community Health, and the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government. Within those schools, the college also has 13 public service and research institutes that include the Institute for Portland Metropolitan Studies, the Institute on Aging, the Center for Public Health Studies, the Center for Population Research and Census, the Center for Transportation Studies, the Executive Leadership Institute, the Institute for Nonprofit Management, the Institute for Tribal Government, the Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute, the National Policy Consensus Center ,the Center for Urban Studies, the Center for Real Estate and the Northwest American-Turkish Research Institute.

About the Branford P. Millar Library
The Branford P. Millar Library at Portland State University is home to 1.3 million volumes, serving over 800,000 patrons annually. The Millar Library recently completed a major $2.8 million renovation, developing a state of the art research center and reorganizing the entire library collection. Ernie Bonner’s papers are the first major collection by a public figure (who was not also a PSU employee) to be given to the Millar Library. Plans are underway to add collections of other notable individuals, with Governor Barbara Roberts’ papers added in fall 2005.

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For Immediate Release (#06-026)

Source: Trish Hamilton (503-725-5209)
College of Urban and Public Affairs