Portland, May 18th, 2015. St. Mary’s Academy hosted a unique forum that called on experts in education, business, technology and development to help enrich the school’s vision for campus expansion. Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, St. Mary’s Principal Kelli Clark and Chairman of the Board of Intel Andy Bryant. St. Mary’s Academy’s Post Office Block Development Community Forum: The Future of Learning, Leading and Innovating attracted 200 of the school’s community members eager to hear from keynote speaker Renée James, President of Intel, and a high caliber of panelists from Portland’s higher education, business and development communities.
“The community forum was intended to ensure we aren’t under-visualizing the opportunity that we have been afforded through the purchase of the block. The campus expansion project is not only about bricks and mortar – it’s about how St. Mary’s can continue to be the leader in education for the future women leaders in our own community and throughout the world. We are grateful to have had the incredible expertise of our education, creative, technology, business and development communities engage in this important conversation,” said Kent Roberts, St. Mary’s Academy’s chairman of the board and shareholder at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
Keynote speaker Renée James spoke about Intel’s initiative to increase diversity in technology by engaging younger generations in technology early on, adapting the nature of tech jobs to be more attractive to women and making sure female professionals in tech sustain their career path. Her main advice to St. Mary’s was to increase STEM programs and to form partnerships with tech companies to allow for internships and networking opportunities.
Moderator Rick Turoczy, co-founder of the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE), a startup accelerator formed in partnership with global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy moderated each of the panels and raised important questions regarding campus expansion, sustainability, and the school’s potential for further integration in downtown Portland.
Future of education panelists Oregon Health & Science University President Joseph E. Robertson, Jr., M.D., Marylhurst University President Dr. Melody Rose and Portland State University President Wim Wiewel, shared their thoughts on what the new building will need to include to stay competitive, academically challenging and attractive to future generations of St. Mary’s students.
“Think differently about what classrooms look like. They have been the same for hundreds of years and they don’t match what we now know about learning and what is needed to bring students to success,” advised Dr. Rose.
St. Mary’s Academy also heard from Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, Andy Bryant, chairman of the board of Intel and Diane Fraiman, partner at Voyager Capital, as part of the future of business panel. These experts shared their knowledge on what St. Mary’s should offer for their students to be pertinent in the job market.
“Mentorship is one of the most important tools for women in the job market. It will allow your students to understand the work place, and to learn how to become brave and reliable leaders,” said Fraiman.
The forum ended with a dynamic panel of some of Portland’s experts in development including Mark Edlen, managing partner at Gerding Edlen, chair of the Portland Development Commission and CEO of the Neil Kelly Company Tom Kelly, and Bob Scanlan, CEO of ScanlanKemperBard Companies. These experts insisted on the importance of flexibility and sustainability, both in terms of construction and financing to make sure the new campus will stay adaptable and relevant for years to come.
St. Mary’s Academy is a Catholic high school for young women located in the heart of downtown Portland that provides a challenging college-preparatory education with a focus on developing the whole person. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary’s Academy is Oregon’s oldest continuously operating secondary school and offers a supportive learning environment to a diverse student body from more than 35 cities in urban, suburban and rural Oregon and Southwest Washington. For more information about St. Mary’s Academy, please visit www.stmaryspdx.org.