Campus sees results as UO campaign nears completion

Tykeson Hall construction

The University of Oregon posted another successful year of contributions during the fiscal year ending June 30 for a total of $131.03 million.

More than half of this total comes from Oregonians, and the lion’s share — 67 percent — is for academic support. In all, the university received 52,972 gifts, an increase of nearly 7 percent from fiscal 2017. Contributors include alumni, friends, faculty and staff members, parents and students, and corporations and foundations.

“We are energized by this increase in the number of gifts because it shows how much people value education,” said Michael H. Schill, president and professor of law. “I wish everyone could come to campus to see how their generosity is inspiring our faculty, creating life-changing opportunities for our students, and enhancing our ability to serve Oregonians and our world.”

Schill said the UO has now raised $1.84 billion toward its $2 billion goal, with 73.32 percent of that total designated for academic purposes and 26.6 percent to intercollegiate athletics.

“Even as we see the evidence of private gifts across campus in the form of construction for both athletics and academics, donors are stepping up to invest in our most precious resource — our people,” Schill said. “Recent major contributions supporting biomedical research from Lorry Lokey and Medford’s Robert J. DeArmond Trust, exemplify the forward thinking that the UO’s donors are admired for.”

Among the most recent highlights of the campaign’s impact to date are new scholarships, new faculty hires and ambitious research initiatives that place the UO in the forefront nationally. Gifts received during the last year are already going to work for students:

Gift impact in fiscal 2018:

  • $24.6 million to expand support for students, including scholarships and PathwayOregon.
  • $92.4 million to advance research, teaching and programs such as the new interdisciplinary data science initiative, which will fundamentally strengthen the university’s ability to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
  • Gifts supporting the Presidential Excellence Fund provided matching funds for new faculty chairs and helped launch projects such as the Media Center for Science and Technology, which will help journalists, advertising and public relations professionals better explain complex developments to the public, and the Urbanism Next Center, which examines the impacts of self-driving cars, ecommerce and the tech-enabled sharing economy.
  • Construction began on the Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, a $39 million hub for the College of Arts and Sciences that will integrate academic and career advising starting in fall 2019.
  • Crews broke ground on the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, a $1 billion research initiative to train a new generation of scientists, engage in new interdisciplinary research, forge tighter ties with industry and entrepreneurs, and create new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Work will start this fall on the $2.2 million Black Cultural Center, which will open in fall 2019.

In addition to helping more students afford a UO education and powering the university’s academic mission, a key campaign goal is to gain control over the university’s financial destiny by building its endowment. The UO Foundation reported the endowment reached $900 million as of June 30, an increase of $288 million since the public launch of the campaign in 2014.

Every gift, regardless of size, makes an impact, according to Mike Andreasen, vice president for advancement.

“What makes the UO so special is the willingness of everyone, from alumni to parents to members of our faculty and staff, to go above and beyond,” Andreasen said. “Their passion for this university fuels a level of excellence that’s extraordinary for midsized universities in small states, especially those without medical or traditional engineering schools.”

Andreasen said the UO’s donors, who number more than 90,000 strong, have consistently given at least $106 million a year since 2009, the year following the university’s last major fundraising campaign.

“As we enter the home stretch of our campaign, we call on Ducks everywhere to help put the most ambitious fundraising effort in our state’s history over the top,” Andreasen said. “It’s an incredible feeling to know you’re part of an effort that will still be making a huge difference in people’s lives decades from now.”

—By Melody Ward Leslie, University Communications