September 22, 2015
University of Portland President Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., announced a $15 million commitment from Board of Regents member Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold '63. The announcement was made at the University's fall Board of Regents meeting. The donation will fund the Dundon-Berchtold Institute for Moral Formation and Applied Ethics and serve as a lead gift towards the construction of a new academic center which will be the future home of the Dundon-Berchtold Institute and be named Dundon-Berchtold Hall.
Dundon-Berchtold Hall, as the new academic center, will also house classrooms, faculty offices, selected key programs, and a gathering space. With this lead gift in place, the University will now be seeking additional gifts to complete the academic building, expected to cost $30 million.
Over the past decade, the University of Portland has experienced unheralded success in student recruitment, student retention, national rankings, and fundraising. As a result of support from the University's recently completed $182 million Rise Campaign, UP has constructed or renovated 11 new buildings or structures on the 150-acre campus during the past 6 years.
UP's President, Fr. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., notes "this gift from the Dundon-Berchtolds is transformational for the University of Portland. As the student population at the University has grown 30% over the past decade, our classroom space has remained the same. In order to keep our cherished student to faculty ratio at 14:1, we are utilizing classrooms from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. A twenty-first century academic building will take UP to even greater heights. I am extremely grateful to Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold for their incredible generosity and their enormous investment in our students and faculty. This new academic center will have a deep impact on the UP campus and our students' experiences for generations to come."
In recent years the Dundon-Berchtolds made a commitment to create an endowment to fund the Dundon-Berchtold Institute for Moral Development and Applied Ethics. The gift has already made a significant effect on the University, according to Fr. Poorman, who was instrumental in the creation of the fund. The initiative includes several efforts. "The Character Project," is an ethics class where students engage in guided discussions as to how personal value systems and beliefs can influence moral character. The Dundon-Berchtold Applied Ethics Program features faculty-student teams that conduct research projects related to professional and applied ethics in the following academic disciplines: engineering, education, nursing, life sciences, social sciences, fine and performing arts, humanities and business. Additionally the Dundon-Berchtold Institute is bringing renowned speakers to Portland. This Sunday the University will host Meg Jay, author of The Defining Decade and on March 16, 2016, David Brooks of the New York Times will be on campus to speak about his book, The Road to Character.
Amy Dundon-Berchtold became familiar with the Portland community and University of Portland largely through her husband, Jim Berchtold, a 1963 UP graduate. The couple met following the loss of both of their spouses. Amy Dundon-Berchtold has enjoyed a very successful career in real estate, which she started with her mother, Dr. Joyce King Stoops. Amy Dundon-Berchtold noted, "I think my mom would be proud of what we are doing at the University of Portland. She believed wholeheartedly in education and making the world a better place."
Jim Berchtold co-founded UP's Center for Entrepreneurship in 2001. He previously served as executive director for Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum, now known as Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.
University of Portland today
The University of Portland is a thriving community of over 5,000 students, faculty and staff located on a bluff overlooking the booming metropolitan city of Portland, Oregon. The University is led by Fr. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., who began his tenure as University of Portland's 20th president in July 2014 after serving three years at UP as Executive Vice President.
The University's commitment to providing an excellent education experience was highlighted in 2014 with the conclusion of a fundraising campaign that raised nearly $182 million, making it one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.
University of Portland features small class settings (14:1 student-faculty ratio) and award-winning faculty and students enjoy 11 new or renovated campus facilities, including the new Beauchamp Recreation & Wellness Center, named in recognition of the University's 19th president Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C. Other new and renovated facilities include a completely renovated Clark Library (completed in August 2013), a state-of-the-art engineering hall (Shiley Hall, dedicated in 2009), two new dormitories (Fields and Schoenfeldt Halls, dedicated in 2009), a remodeled and vastly expanded dining facility (Bauccio Commons, dedicated in 2010), a new bell tower (dedicated in 2009), a renovated science building (Romanaggi Hall, dedicated in 2010), an expanded and renovated multipurpose athletic facility (Chiles Center, dedicated in 2012), and an upgraded Joe Etzel Field (dedicated in 2015).
The University has begun construction on a new residence hall with room for approximately 270 students, which will be located on the UP campus adjacent to the newly constructed Beauchamp Recreation & Wellness Center. The University aims to complete the project prior to the start of the 2016-17 academic year. Also, renovations to a redesigned Pilot House will be completed this fall and open in the evenings for activities including music, comedy, "Pilots After Dark", and other entertainment.
In addition to campus improvements, the University has also increased scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships, faculty research opportunities, and programs in campus ministry.
The University of Portland's commitment to its mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership has been successfully proven through its graduates. The University has been a national leader among peer institutions for the number of alumni earning Fulbright scholarships for several consecutive years (Chronicle of Higher Education).
For the twenty-first consecutive year, the University earned a Top-10 ranking by U.S. News & World Report in its annual list of best colleges. For the fifth consecutive year, University of Portland was the top Oregon school in Kiplinger's Personal Finance annual ranking of best values in private colleges and universities. For two consecutive years, Bloomberg Businessweek named University of Portland the top school in Oregon for "return on investment", a state-by-state ranking of schools providing graduates with the most return for the price of their education. University of Portland is Oregon's only comprehensive university with schools of business, education, engineering, nursing, a College of Arts and Sciences and a graduate school. The University offers a rich resource for the community through educational opportunities, research, experts, in addition to a host of community offerings such as athletic events, cultural events, speakers and lectures.
UP students and alumni are resources for research, internships, and full-time employment. More than half of University of Portland's 37,000 alumni reside in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. To learn more about why University students and alumni make excellent employees, visit the Career Center at www.up.edu/career.