Portland, October 29th. Phil & Penny Knight’s contributions to Oregon were feted with enthusiasm by the 600 supporters at the Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s 20th annual Honored Citizen Dinner. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) While the Knights were not in attendance, many paid tribute including: Brian Druker, MD, director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, David L. Kennedy, Senior Associate Vice President for Development, Stanford University, Robert L. Thompson, FAIA, founding principal of TVA Architecture. KOIN’s Jeff Gianola captured Phil Knight’s thoughts regarding the couple’s philanthropy and how their giving priorities impact design – particularly at the Matthew Knight Arena, the John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes, and the Knight Management Center at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
A special stage set and table décor were designed by Owen William Fritts, an architect-turned-artist/environmental advocate who has worked with Nike on the Project Red campaign to fight AIDS. He created the installation from locally foraged fir and apple bows, interlaced with red shoe laces from Nike. Inspired by the Knights’ legacy of creativity, audience members got into the act by completing their table centerpieces – copper wire and red shoe lace structures showing some amazing creativity.
From sculptors to public officials to captains of industry, the Knight’s join an exemplary list of Oregonians who have been honored by afo in the past 20 years, including: The Oregon Community Foundation, Cycle Oregon, developer/philanthropists John Gray and Bob Gerding, Senator Mark O. Hatfield and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, urban naturalist Mike Houck, architects Pietro Belluschi, FAIA and Robert J. Frasca, FAIA, artists Ed Carpenter, Tom Hardy and Leroy Setziol, and landscape architect, Barbara Fealy, FASLA.
The evening was supported by a who’s who of industry firms: Event Sponsor, Daily Journal of Commerce; Sustaining Sponsor, Hoffman Construction Company; Supporting Sponsors, Gerding Edlen, Glumac, Howard S. Wright, Skanska, Turner Construction, University of Oregon and ZGF Architects, LLP; 36 Table Sponsors and 13 Supporting Table Sponsors.
The evening raised $160,000 for afo programs and services, including the Architects in Schools program. This school year, 2,400 students and their teachers in the Portland metro area, Central Oregon, Eugene and Salem/Keizer will participate in the six-week residency. The AiS program introduces students to design, it´s process, application and impact on their daily lives; it places architects in the classroom, providing workplace awareness to students; it provides teachers a curriculum that helps them fulfill state learning goals through design education so that visual arts are not an “extra” but a way to teach core subjects; and it provides this all free of charge to the schools so it is available to as many students and schools as possible. Plans to develop a program for the Medford area were begun at a September meeting with representatives of afo and AIA/Southern Oregon.