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UO President Michael Schill officially announces Knight Campus



University of Oregon President Michael Schill addressed a full house Tuesday morning in the Giustina Ballroom. Faculty Senate members, the Board of Trustees and state legislators, including Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, were on hand for the official announcement of a $500 million gift from Phil and Penny Knight.

“The initiative which President Schill will share with you today is a transformative development that creates a powerful new platform for collaboration and partnership between the scientists and researchers at the University of Oregon and OHSU,” Joe Robertson, president of OHSU said.

OHSU received a $500 million gift from the Knights last year for its work on early detection of lethal cancers.

Jim Hutchison, Lokey-Harrington Chair in chemistry, said that the campus will help UO bring new people in while sending out ideas that originate here.

“The key strength of the University of Oregon is fundamental science; we discover new things everyday,” Hutchison said. “Often those discoveries stay within the university … our goal is translate those ideas.”

Schill applauded the work of faculty members for bringing the idea to life.

“The vision for this campus was born, like all great academic ideas not by administrators but by our faculty members,” Schill said, “out of a passion to make a difference in the world.”

The new campus is being received well by faculty members. Ulrich Mayr, department head of psychology, is excited about the intellectual as well as physical expansion that the campus will bring.

“It’s fantastic, it’s going to lift up the whole campus,” Mayr said. “It will release space pressure, on campus by starting the northward expansion across Franklin [Boulevard].”

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will bring hundreds of researchers to UO. Schill also predicts that it will “substantially” increase state funding for the university and be a boon for Eugene’s economy in the process.

This gift comes in the midst of a $2 billion fundraising campaign initiated by Schill in October 2014. After reaching the half-way point in July 2016, the university is closing in on its goal.

“Unlike so many other initiatives in higher education, this one has the resources to back it up,” Schill said.


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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

Senior News Editor. Baseball Fan. Martial Artist. Lover of books and words. Follow him on Twitter @Max_Thornberry

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