Imagining the Future

UO sciences benefit from latest gift from Lorry Lokey

Philanthropist Lorry I. Lokey has again dug deep to help the University of Oregon meet the needs of a growing number of science majors and honor the passion of a former university leader.

The UO shared preliminary designs today for a two-story building that will replace the well-worn existing science library by spring 2016. The project will be funded through Lokey’s $8 million gift, other gifts and state bonds. Lokey asked for it to be named for Allan Price, the former UO vice president for advancement who died in 2012 at age 56.

The $16.75 million project will create a modern academic and social center designed to spark new research and learning opportunities by bringing together students and faculty members in all scientific disciplines. The need is great due to a 72 percent increase in science majors at the UO since 2000.

With this gift, Lokey’s UO investments total $139.9 million. The university named its science complex for Lokey in 2007, in appreciation for his transformational gift of $74.6 million to advance teaching and research in several disciplines, especially the sciences.

Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Legislature put the long-needed facility on a fast track by approving $8.375 million in general obligation bonds last fall.

During his tenure from 2001 to 2008, Price helped raise unprecedented philanthropic support for the university while overseeing Campaign Oregon. He was building the foundation for similar success at Oregon Health & Science University at the time of his death.

“Allan Price’s ability to imagine the future, and inspire others to help make that future a reality, is legendary at the University of Oregon,” said UO President Michael Gottfredson.

“The Price Science Commons will support the deep learning and bold thinking necessary to transform lives and improve our world. We are grateful for the state’s investment in this project and especially thankful to Lorry Lokey for his heartfelt gift honoring Allan’s commitment to advancing the sciences.”

The Price Science Commons brings the university’s total investment in capital projects for academics since 2001 to nearly $425 million.

Margaret Bean, head of the Science Library, said plans call for more “people” spaces such as group study rooms, classrooms, demonstration labs, a “big data” visualization center, and a “maker” space where everyone on campus can take advantage of tools such as 3-D printing.

“The two decades since the library’s last renovation have brought about unprecedented changes in the way people use technology, especially in the scientific disciplines, where collaboration and integration of research among the many branches of science has seen such acceleration,” Bean said.

Lokey, a Stanford University graduate who grew up in Portland and made his fortune by founding BusinessWire, said he and Price immediately formed a deep friendship based on their shared passion for education and for science as the key to a bright future.

"Allan had a huge impact at the University of Oregon, and I want his memory to continue," said Lokey, whose extraordinary gifts to the UO during Price's watch, all for academics, launched major capital projects for the sciences, education, music and journalism. See a video for more about Price’s legacy and Lokey’s gift.

In addition to Lokey, donors to the Price Science Commons include Marcia L. Aaron, Barbara Reed Cargill, Rosaria Haugland, Jill and Phillip Lighty, Nancy and David Petrone, Darcy and Hank Tarbell, and Julie and Keith Thomson.

Construction will create an estimated 151 jobs when ground is broken in 2015.

- by Julie Brown, Public Affairs Communications