Pacific University Supporters Set Giving Record

lead_onPacific University recently completed its most successful year of giving in school history, with donors contributing gifts and pledges totaling nearly $12.4 million between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

Coming on the heels of last November’s public announcement of an ambitious $80 million comprehensive campaign, the 2017-2018 total more than doubles the previous year’s high-water mark of $5.9 million, already one of the highest in school history.

Lead On: The Campaign for Tomorrow at Pacific University aims to strengthen endowments for student financial aid and program growth, expand learning facilities and resources, and invest in innovation and long-term growth. As of July 31, Pacific donors have given $48.8 million toward the $80 million goal.

“This comprehensive campaign is an opportunity for you to make your mark on the future of Pacific as we continue our 169-year tradition of excellence into a bright new tomorrow,” President Lesley Hallick said in announcing the public phase of the campaign last November.

Alumni and friends have risen to that challenge, underscoring their confidence in Pacific’s growing stature as a destination institution for both those seeking a bachelor’s degree and those looking to embark on a high-skilled professional career.

Among the highlights of the last year:

  • In Summer 2017, the 10-year-old playing surface at Hanson Stadium — home to Pacific’s football, soccer, lacrosse and track & field teams — underwent a replacement, thanks to the generous support of Trustee Emeritus Kim Ledbetter and his wife Barb. The university later dedicated the playing field in the Ledbetters’ honor at the Boxer’s Homecoming football game. The Ledbetters have also endowed scholarships for students and supported capital initiatives including the Pacific Excellence Fund and the renovation of the Pacific EyeClinic Forest Grove and College of Optometry facilities in Jefferson Hall.
  • Later in the fall, Chuck Bafaro Stadium, home to Boxer Baseball, was resurfaced with synthetic turf for the infield as a result of an anonymous gift.
  • October saw the dedication of Pacific University’s Library on the Forest Grove Campus in honor of alumni Khiem “Tim” ’74 and Thuy “Cathy” Tran ’74, who generously established an endowment to provide perpetual support for the library. The endowment supports salaries and professional development, library acquisitions and subscriptions, student support, facilities improvement, curricular development, technological support and other critical operating requirements of the library. Future renovations are planned for the Tran Library to update study spaces, relocate some student services and expand resources and offerings to students and faculty alike.
  • In November, the College of Arts & Sciences received a $200,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to establish an innovative undergraduate research program in the School of Arts & Humanities. The school is developing Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Inquiry (URSCI) curricula to offer research opportunities and benefits to every student in the school. Courses are being redesigned to include research methodologies unique to the arts and humanities, with a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, and opportunities for students to disseminate their scholarly work. In June, the undergraduate student participants took part in the inaugural URSCI Summer Institute, and presented research projects on Native American tribes, public art’s role in in creating a sense of community, and an art installation designed to educate on various types of overt and subtle social oppression.
  • Pacific’s EyeSmile Outreach Program, a mobile vision and dental care joint offering of the university’s College of Optometry and School of Dental Hygiene Studies, came to fruition through the generosity of an anonymous donor, whose gifts enabled both programs to acquire new 33-foot mobile clinics. EyeSmile complements Pacific’s brick-and-mortar healthcare clinics by delivering needed care to underserved populations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.
  • An anonymous gift resulted in the establishment of two endowments to support military veteran students at Pacific. The Pacific University Veteran’s Support Endowment will provide Pacific’s veteran students with student professional development, staffing for the Veterans Resource Center, outreach and programming opportunities, networking opportunities and career counseling. The Pacific University Veteran’s Endowed Scholarship with provide scholarship support to veteran students who are in good academic standing and have a demonstrated financial need.

All told, the monumental 140-percent increase in financial support from the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year reflects Pacific supporters’ commitment to the university’s mission to inspire students to think, care, create, and pursue justice in the world. At Pacific, students choose from more than 60 undergraduate fields of study, as well as a spectrum of graduate and professional degree programs in the business, education, and healthcare sectors.

While the Lead On Campaign looks to the future of Pacific, its impact on students starts today with four students who have already benefited from the recently established Golden Guard Endowed Scholarship, supporting returning undergraduates who will be the first in their families to graduate from college. Funded by alumni of the late 1960s, the scholarship is indicative of the future Pacific is building for its students.

“From our earliest days as a school for Oregon Trail orphans, Pacific has always been about the sharing of knowledge and the opportunities afforded by an education,” Hallick said in November. “The Lead On campaign will take that tradition forward as we work to make the Pacific experience affordable and accessible to more students and to give all of our students the opportunity to change their own lives and the lives of those around them.”

Aug. 20, 2018