Give to the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program

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

Great talent often 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 Master 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.

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, Scott Korb, at or 503-352-1532.

Expand Equity | The MFA in Writing Endowed Scholarship 

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 distinct voices in our program.


Open Horizons | The Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship

The Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship fund is named after Mapmaker, an early collection of Dawes's poems. Professor Dawes has been a leader in the 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 partial tuition scholarships to exceptional students of color.


Support Women | The Katherine Dunn Scholarship

This fund affirms and encourages exceptional female student writers who have demonstrated financial need. Katherine Dunn is the author of the best-selling novel Geek Love and was well known for her work as a boxing reporter. In the early 1970s, she faced challenges as a single mother of a young son in Portland, working long hours in the morning as a waitress and in the evenings as a bartender. In between, she took care of her son and wrote stories, poems, and articles. She joined the Pacific Master of Fine Arts in Writing program in 2013, where she was a generous and brilliant teacher. This current use fund offers partial tuition scholarships to women writers entering the MFA program. 



Say Yes | The Marvin Bell Endowed Poetry Scholarship

Marvin Bell's core belief—"Art is the big yes"—asserts that there is no one way to write and no right way to write. A founding poet of the program, Marvin knew no bounds in supporting the work of his students and in celebrating their achievements. He loved the opportunity to push the poet and the poem to the next level with his mantra: Know the rules, break the rules, make new rules, break those rules. This endowed scholarship fund will allow the Pacific University MFA program to recruit and attract a new generation of poets, supporting and encouraging those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to earn their degree.


Provide Possibility | The Washburn-Hayes Scholarship

Named in honor of beloved longtime program director Shelley Washburn and founding dean of the MFA in Writing, John Hayes, the Washburn-Hayes Scholarship affirms and encourages talented writers entering the program. This current-use fund offers partial tuition scholarships to exceptional students. 


Create Community | The MFA Excellence Fund

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 greatest needs, such as support for visiting writers, publishing projects, public readings, and more.


Contact Us

Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program
503-352-1531 |

530 NW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday