Give to the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program

“Art is the big yes.” 
— Marvin Bell, Poet 

Too much great talent goes undiscovered and undeveloped due to a writer’s lack of time, resources and moral support. Pacific’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing program offers an opportunity for emerging writers to study with prominent authors and join a community of supportive peers to create and contribute to the conversations of our time.

When you give a gift to the Masters of Fine Arts in Writing scholarships, you are assisting writers whose art reflects the full and rich diversity of our humanity. Listed below are some of the ways you can support these students.

Expand Equity | The MFA in Writing Endowed Scholarship Fund 

The goal of the endowed scholarship is to increase equity and diversity in the MFA program, including racial and ethnic diversity. When you support underrepresented writers, you help build a greater future. At full funding, the endowed scholarship will provide up to $18,000 in tuition to a highly meritorious incoming MFA student in financial need whose talents add to the diverse voices in our program.



Open Horizons | The Mapmakers Scholarship Fund

The Mapmakers Scholarship Fund is named after Mapmaker, an early collection of poems by MFA faculty member Kwame Dawes. Professor Dawes has been a leader in the MFA program’s mission to diversify the writers we serve and create equity. In helping us name the fund, he said, “The title characterizes what I think of myself as both a writer and as an advocate for the work of others and as someone who tries to open new territories for those who have not had access.” This current use fund offers $1,000 - $8,000 in tuition to exceptional students of color.



Provide Possibility | The John Hayes Scholarship Fund

The John Hayes fund, named after the founding dean of the MFA in Writing program, affirms and encourages talented writers entering the program. This fund offers the Pearl Scholarship providing $7,500 in tuition to an exceptional student, as well as yearly merit scholarships providing $1,000-$4,000 in tuition. These awards are based on the quality of the creative manuscript and supporting application materials.



Create Community | Other Opportunities to Support the MFA Writers

When we cultivate a community that serves to uplift one another, we accomplish more in the world and in our own lives. The MFA program welcomes donors who would like to contribute to unrestricted funds that can be applied to the program’s highest needs, such as support for visiting writers, publishing projects, public readings, and more.



Contact Us

We thank you for your commitment to art, inclusion and equity. We are happy to give you more information and answer any questions you may have about the MFA program and the ways that you can support writers. Please contact the MFA director, Shelley Washburn, at or 503-352-1532.

“Pacific University is more than an education. It’s a way of life. Poem after poem, packet after packet, semester after semester, I was taught not how to write poetry, but how to pay attention, how to see the miraculous in the mundane, the opulence in the everyday, how to open my senses and silence the constant judgment. If Pacific had a motto it would be something like, ‘read the word, write the word, hold nothing back, then throw it away and start all over again,’ because at Pacific they want us to settle into the writer’s life, not just the writer’s finished products. This is the best lesson an emerging writer can receive from some of the best writers and teachers out there.” — Jamaica Baldwin, MFA '17 (Poetry)