UO Board of Trustees Chair Chuck Lillis

UO Board Chair's remarks during announcement of Knight Campus

University of Oregon Board of Trustee chair, Charles M. Lillis, called the announcement of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact a seminal moment for the institution. Lillis was joined by President Michael Schill, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, OHSU President Joe Robertson and others as the campus celebrated the Knights' $500 million gift to the UO for science research during an event on Oct. 18.

University of Oregon Board of Trustee chair, Charles M. Lillis, remarks:

Thank you.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, of which I am honored to serve as chair, I have just a few brief remarks.

Simply put: this is a seminal event for the University of Oregon.

About three years ago, the active involvement of faculty, students, alumni, and supporters – in partnership with the state – led to a new governance model for the University of Oregon.  Adoption of this new governance model took some courage from our political leadership, but it was the right action to take.  This model, which is the envy of public universities across the nation, allowed the university to dream big and chart its own course so that a day like today could be a reality.

Just over two years ago, the newly formed Board of Trustees challenged the university to think boldly and imaginatively, to create a vision where the UO could make its mark as a premier public research institution.  We are proud it did so – and we are humbled that the UO has passionate donors willing to help make that vision a reality. This amazing endeavor would simply not be possible without Penny and Phil Knight!

One of my favorite phrases – which came from a faculty member right here at the UO – is that “innovation occurs at the intersection of disciplines.” The Knight Campus will foster that interdisciplinary work; accelerate that innovation; rely on collaboration between universities, the private sector, and the government; and ultimately result in untold positive impact.