BEND, Ore. - Inspired by the momentum and promise of Oregon State University-Cascades, a Bend couple has made plans through their estate to fund a record $2 million endowment that will support the campus., the school announced Tuesday.
The $2 million commitment from Carmen and Mike Cutting is the largest gift in OSU-Cascades' history.
Income from the endowed fund will be used at the discretion of the vice president of OSU-Cascades to support academic degree programs.
"It's thrilling to see OSU alumni in Central Oregon, like the Cuttings, step up to support our shared vision for the branch campus. I'm pleased to be able to acknowledge their contribution, as well as the commitment and personal support they have shown over the past four years." said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson.
The Cuttings' gift comes as OSU-Cascades separately seeks $4 million toward the physical expansion of the campus. Johnson reports 69 other supporters have contributed more than $2.9 million toward that effort.
"Carmen and Mike's commitment to support our academic programs is a great complement to what others are doing to help us secure a new home for our growing campus," said Johnson.
"Endowments help ensure OSU-Cascades' long-term health and vitality, and the discretionary nature of the Cutting Fund will give us additional flexibility to create excellence within our degree programs."
Both Carmen and Mike were born and raised in McMinnville, where Mike is still involved in the operation of the family farm. After graduating from OSU in 1965, the Cuttings divided their time between Oregon and Seattle for many years before retiring and making Bend their primary residence in 2006.
Mike Cutting is a co-founder of Northwest Atlantic Partners, a comprehensive real estate brokerage and advisory service for retailers. Carmen Cutting taught elementary school before raising a family, and then enjoyed a varied career in real estate, retail shop ownership and volunteer work.
"We are both native Oregonians, and have always thought of ourselves as Oregonians and Beavers. In fact, both our daughters attended and graduated from OSU, even though we still lived in Washington at the time," Mike Cutting said.
"For us, it's very exciting to see the university develop this branch campus in Central Oregon and make a tremendous impact on the region, economically and culturally. We're impressed with the vision for OSU-Cascades and pleased to help secure its future."
Earlier in the year, the Cuttings made a similar commitment of $2 million through their estate plans to create an endowment to support Oregon State University's athletic programs.