Supporters of Oregon State University - Cascades have surpassed a $4 million private fundraising goal for the school's four-year campus expansion, officials announced Wednesday.
Their gifts, which exceed $4.6 million, bring the decades-old vision of a four-year university in Central Oregon another step closer to reality.
Last summer, the Oregon Legislature voted to provide $16 million in general fund backed bonds for the expansion, to be matched with at least $4 million in philanthropic support and $4 million in campus-supported bonds.
“We started raising funds for our new home in 2012, but we had to meet that philanthropic goal by the end of 2013, which gave us a very short timeframe,” said OSU-Cascades vice president Becky Johnson.
“We still have plenty of work to do, and we will need the continued engagement of our community partners to succeed, but this is certainly a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished so far together.”
The fundraising effort received a major boost last May, when the Oregon Community Foundation committed $250,000 to the campus expansion, contingent on OSU-Cascades raising an additional $250,000 in private support by the end of the year.
Further, the branch campus would be eligible for an additional $250,000 Oregon Community Foundation grant in 2014 if supporters gave a total of $500,000 by December 31, 2013. This goal was achieved.
“The commitment that the Central Oregon community has shown for this project is inspiring. OCF – in partnership with our donors – was happy to support this effort through these two challenge grants – challenges that have more than been met by the community," said Max Williams, Oregon Community Foundation president and CEO.
"We’re excited to see the positive results that this new campus will bring to the region,” Williams added.
Johnson said, “We are grateful to OCF for its visionary leadership in transforming higher education in Central Oregon. OCF’s support, and that of each of our donors, moves the branch campus closer to helping the state meet its educational attainment goals, and will help foster the economic growth and cultural enrichment that will result from a four-year university.”
About OSU-Cascades: Located in Bend, Ore., Oregon State University’s branch campus features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Eighteen undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, exercise and sport science, hospitality management, and tourism and outdoor leadership. The branch campus plans to expand to a four-year university beginning fall 2015.