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Architecture gets $1 million gift

An anonymous donor gave the PSU architecture department its largest gift ever from a private donor, $1 million to help jump-start the program.

The donor will make a series of payments over a five-year period.

The donation will have immediate results, with the department hosting an international conference in March. Approximately 75 renowned architects from across the United States will be at Portland State for the seminar, including London’s world-famous architect Peter Cook.

L. Rudolph Barton, chair of the department, is excited about the pending conference and others to follow. “This gift gives us 5 years of distinguished visitors, both architecture faculty and practitioners.”

“We worked with the donors to develop this series of lectures,” Barton continued. “We will be able to bring some really talented young designers.”

Professor Barton has been teaching architecture at Portland State for 10 years.

Architecture has been a functioning department at PSU for 5 years. Previously, architecture had been a part of the art department.

Robert Sylvester, Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, shares Barton’s enthusiasm. “This is the largest gift the Portland State architecture department has ever received,” Sylvester said. “We are pushing for more gifts so we can further expand the program.”

Sylvester sees the donation as a benefit to the entire architecture community. He believes the lecture series will allow architects in the city to share ideas and examine new trends with PSU students.

In addition to the lecture series, this grant allows PSU to bring in high level adjunct professors from the Portland architecture community. Classes that had previously been offered on a rotating basis will now become permanent fixtures in the architecture program.

“We now have the ability to bring the most talented architects of Portland to Portland State as faculty,” Sylvester said. “We now have the capability to offer cutting edge curriculum.”

Barton sees architecture as unique at Portland State. With over 200 students claiming architecture as their majors, each student has 24-hour access to the studios. The architecture department is located on the second floor of Shattuck Hall, with the studios right above on the third floor. Each student has his or her own key, and they are encouraged to view each other’s work and to collaborate on projects.