Portland, October 29th, 2015. For the fouth year in a row, the annual Simon Benson Awards Dinner raised more than $1 million for scholarships and other campus initiatives at Portland State University. PSU benefactor Jordan Schnitzer and Arianna Huffington were among the 1,500 guests at the 16th annual event at the Oregon Convention Center, one of the largest benefits in the city.

PSU Foundation Trustee Wally Van Valkenburg, Mary Oberst, Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, honoree Hazel Schlesinger and Representative Deborah Boone.

PSU Foundation Trustee Wally Van Valkenburg, Mary Oberst, Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, honoree Hazel Schlesinger and Representative Deborah Boone.

Roger Hinshaw, President of Bank of America in Oregon and SW Washington, and his wife Margaret enjoyed the opportunity to meet Arianna Huffington.

Roger Hinshaw, President of Bank of America in Oregon and SW Washington, and his wife Margaret enjoyed the opportunity to meet Arianna Huffington.

2015 Simon Benson honorees: The Schlesinger family and Greg Ness, and his wife Terry, are joined by PSU President Wim Wiewel, his wife Alice and PSU Foundation Board Chair Mark Rosenbaum.

2015 Simon Benson honorees: The Schlesinger family and Greg Ness, and his wife Terry, are joined by PSU President Wim Wiewel, his wife Alice and PSU Foundation Board Chair Mark Rosenbaum.

Alison Bailey, Public Affairs Specialist at The Standard, and Monique Barton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Bank of America enjoy the gala.

Alison Bailey, Public Affairs Specialist at The Standard, and Monique Barton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Bank of America enjoy the gala.

The evening featured keynote speaker Arianna Huffington and inspiring student stories. PSU honored the Schlesinger family with the Simon Benson Award for Philanthropy and Greg Ness, MBA ’87, received the Simon Benson Award for Alumni Achievement. Event co-chairs were Lynn C. Johnson and John M. Petersen. Peter W. Stott, HD ‘11 served as honorary co-chair.

From Portland State University:

MISSION

To support Portland State University’s mission to be a leading public urban university.

VISION 

To fulfill the philanthropic needs of the university.

OVERVIEW

Created in 1963, the PSU Foundation raises philanthropic gifts, invests them responsibly, and stewards them in accordance with donors’ wishes. The PSU Foundation is responsible for raising and managing private resources to support the mission and priorities of the university and contributes to institutional excellence.

LEADERSHIP

Constance French joined the PSU Foundation as CEO and President in 2015 and brings more than twenty-five years in development and leadership experience to this interim position. The foundation and the university are embarking upon a national search for a permanent CEO and President.

SUCCESSFUL MERGER

In 2014, University Advancement, Alumni Relations and the PSU Foundation merged into one entity. The successful merger fueled philanthropic momentum to support the mission of PSU and was featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Mergers Turn University Foundations into Fundraising Juggernauts.

THE RESULTS
  • The foundation raised more than $46 million in private gifts in 2015, an increase of 18 percent over the prior year. 
  • For the fifth year in a row philanthropic giving has risen by double digits and nearly quadrupled in the last four years.
  • The foundation has provided $26 million in direct support to PSU and that support has more than doubled in the last three years. Gifts to PSU support academic excellence, cutting-edge research, our exceptional faculty and valuable community partnerships.
  • Donor funded scholarships totaled $2.6 million, an increase of 79 percent over 2013.
  • The endowment surpassed $57 million and grew 44 percent over the last five years.
  • Our alumni represent 47 percent of our donors and for the third year in a row were the largest group of PSU donors.
OUR ROLE 
  • Philanthropy
  • Stewardship
  • Advocacy
VALUES
  • Fidelity
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Engagement
GOAL

The PSU Foundation supports Portland State University in its mission to be a leading urban university. More than 10,000 donors contribute millions of dollars every year to support PSU’s students, faculty, programs, and facilities. 

YOUR PSU SUPPORT

The PSU Foundation is transforming Portland State University through philanthropy. There is much more to accomplish and your gifts positively impact our students, faculty and campus. PSU students go onto become successful, engaged community members and contribute to the economic vitality of the Portland metro area and beyond. 

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