Pacific University Supporters Set New Giving Record

Pacific University recently completed its most successful year of giving in school history, with donors contributing gifts and pledges totaling more than $14.4 million between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. As of June 30, Pacific donors have given $69.7 million toward the $80 million goal of Pacific’s Lead On Campaign.

The 2019-2020 total beats the university’s previous high-water mark of giving from 2017-2018 by more than $2 million.

In a year that saw the university shut down and spring semester classes moved completely online because of COVID-19, alumni and friends have continued to show their support in large numbers, underscoring their confidence in Pacific to weather the storm and to continue growing in stature as a top university for both undergraduate and graduate/professional programs.

Among the highlights of the last year:

  • A grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust provided funds to purchase equipment and technology for the Boxer Makerspace, housed in the Tim & Cathy Tran Library. Equipment provided by the grant includes 2D and 3D scanners, a Sign on door of Boxer Makerspacelarge format 3D printer, book production and binding equipment, and video recording equipment. This equipment has enhanced teaching and scholarly activities of Pacific faculty and students across disciplines and has exposed them to technologies, tools and resources not readily found in their academic departments. The Boxer Makerspace is a partnership between the University Libraries and the campus innovation center, the Berglund Center. The center’s mission is to support multidisciplinary and multicollegiate creativity, scholarship, entrepreneurship and the development of leadership skills through the incubation of innovative ideas, products and services. The Berglund Center is funded by an endowment from Pacific alumni Drs. Mary ’58, Hon. ’19 and James Berglund OD ’60, whose daughter, Julie Berglund Baker, is a current university trustee.   
  • A new equity and diversity scholarship, the Newcomer Endowed Scholarship, was established by Mike Francis, associate director of communications in the Office of Marketing & Communications. The Newcomer Endowed Scholarship provides financial support to students who are U.S. residents born in other countries, especially students with refugee or asylum status who have overcome barriers. Originally created with an outside foundation, Francis transferred and fully endowed the scholarship to Pacific University after joining the Marketing & Communications Department in 2018. Prior to Pacific, Francis had worked as a journalist at various outlets, including more than 20 years at The Oregonian, where his work included three stints as an embedded reporter in Iraq. It was through his reporting overseas that Francis came to realize how difficult it was for people born elsewhere to afford and achieve an education in the United States and how valuable the contributions to American society are by people who come from other cultures and countries. “People who come from other countries enrich America and make it stronger,” Francis says of the impetus for his scholarship. “Current federal politics notwithstanding, we should do what we can to encourage them to come.”
  • Pacific alumnus Everett Stanley ’52 made a generous gift to the Everett D. Stanley, Rex G. Chase, Rudolf Walz Scholarship Endowment for International Studies. The scholarship supports students who wish to study abroad during their time at Pacific and are committed to serving others. Stanley and his late husband, Rex Chase, established the endowed scholarship in honor of their friend and Everett’s college roommate, Rudolf Walz. Walz came to Pacific from Germany as a transfer student, one of the first German exchange students to attend Pacific after WWII. He was originally assigned to room with two veterans, and when they protested the rooming assignment, Stanley readily volunteered to share his room with Walz. They joined the Gamma Sigma fraternity together and developed a lifelong friendship, visiting each other and their families in their respective countries over the years. Their friendship and the experience of traveling and meeting people from different countries and cultures, enhanced Stanley’s view of the world and the people living in it. Everett and Rex established the scholarship with the intention to help students learn how to live and understand people of other cultures through travel and the sharing of ideas, language, history and culture.Anna Mathisen '18, PA '22 on the Hillsboro campus

These gifts highlight the breadth of Pacific donors, including alumni, foundations, and even Pacific University staff and faculty. They also highlight support for two of the three pillars of fundraising focus for Pacific’s ongoing comprehensive campaign: endowments, capital projects, and innovative programing and growth.

Lead On: The Campaign for Tomorrow at Pacific University aims to raise $80 million to strengthen endowments for student financial aid and program growth, expand and update learning facilities and resources, and invest in innovative and long-term growth of the university. Through the support of these, and all our donors, Pacific University is well on its way to meeting that goal and leading on into the future of education.

Friday, Sept. 4, 2020