OSU-Cascades receives foundation grant

Challenge grant could bring $500,000 for 4-year expansion

BEND, Ore. - Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray announced Monday night that OSU-Cascades has received another major boost in its efforts to raise $4 million to expand the campus to a four-year university.

The Oregon Community Foundation has committed $250,000 to OSU-Cascades if the campus can raise an additional $250,000 in private support by Dec. 31.

In addition, if OSU-Cascades raises a total of $500,000 by the end of the year, the campus will be eligible for an additional $250,000 grant from OCF in 2014, bringing the foundation's support to a total of $500,000.

"OCF's unique support of the OSU-Cascades campus is based upon the transformational impact this new branch-campus model will have on Oregon's higher education system and Central Oregon, as well as helping Oregon achieve its 40-40-20 educational goals," said OCF Pesident and CEO Max Williams. 

Last August, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education endorsed the university's proposal to expand OSU-Cascades to a four-year branch campus of Oregon State University.

The OSU branch campus has existed as a "2+2" model since it was founded in 2001, providing upper-division and graduate courses, and bachelor's and master's degrees.

The endorsement allows OSU-Cascades to offer freshman and sophomore courses, providing a full four-year experience for students in what has been the state's only major population area without a four-year university.

"This matching gift is a tremendous step in seeing OSU-Cascades' promise fulfilled," said Ray. "Support from the Oregon Community Foundation supports an essential opportunity for Central Oregon to help the state meet its educational attainment goals, while also fostering the economic growth and cultural enrichment that will result from a four-year university."

To date, donors to the OSU-Cascades expansion project have provided more than $3.3 million in private support. With the potential $500,000 in funds from OCF and support from those who participate in the grant challenge, that total could grow by as much as $1 million.

"We are grateful to OCF for its visionary leadership in transforming educational opportunity in Central Oregon," said Becky Johnson, vice president at OSU-Cascades.

"And by awarding a challenge grant, they have provided the incentive for others to get involved in supporting the campus expansion plan," she added. "Offering a one-to-one match provides a remarkable opportunity for donors to double the impact of their giving."

The Oregon Legislature is expected to vote in the next two months on a request for $16 million in state bonds to expand campus facilities in preparation for OSU-Cascades welcoming its first class of incoming freshmen for fall 2015.

Donors to the OSU-Cascades' expansion plan are part of The Campaign for OSU, and are among the nearly 100,000 donors who have provided more than $925 million toward the campaign's $1 billion goal.

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