BEND, Ore. - Oregon State University–Cascades announced Thursday it has received a $1 million gift from Charles McGrath, the founder and president of Grace-Bio Labs of Bend, to help construct the next academic building planned on its new campus.
The future building will be the second academic building on the campus and will focus on the STEAM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
“Chuck’s gift is an extraordinary statement of leadership and vision,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “It demonstrates his personal commitment to higher education in Central Oregon, for OSU-Cascades’ expansion, as well as for innovative science education.”
McGrath’s scientific innovations at Grace-Bio Labs have advanced cancer research and therapies. He is a proponent of research and education in the bioscience fields.
McGrath recently led the expansion of Grace-Bio Labs. A second location was established in a district near the new OSU campus that is increasingly attracting innovative tech and bioscience companies.
Meanwhile, the company’s research innovation experts and OSU-Cascades’ academic leaders are exploring opportunities for collaboration. These opportunities include potential new academic degree offerings and public-private partnerships, with a focus on developing a skilled and professional workforce, and enhancing job creation in the bioscience industry.
This gift pushes the total funds raised to $8.9 million toward a $10 million match required for the state bonding proposed for the new building.
OSU-Cascades received $9.5 million in capital funding from the Oregon State Legislature in the recently concluded legislative session. The funding will support the initiation of the campus expansion, allowing for site preparation on the university-owned 46-acre property adjacent to the existing campus.
The state funding also will enable classroom, office and security improvements to the nearby OSU-Cascades Graduate & Research Center.
OSU will seek additional funding for the academic building in the February 2018 legislative session.
Other donations toward the campus expansion have included a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor, $1 million gift from the Tykeson Family Foundation, and $500,000 gift from the Bend Foundation. With the commitment of state funding, the donations will be applied to construction costs for the new academic building.