The OHSU School of Dentistry has received $2 million from an anonymous donor. The gift, from a prominent Portland-area businessman, is the largest cash donation in the 105-year-old dental school's history.
"We are so grateful to our anonymous benefactor for graciously writing the kind of check that will help us continue in our strategic direction of building a caring, committed and excellent dental school community," said School of Dentistry Dean Jack Clinton, D.M.D. "That our donor is not a dentist or an alum really speaks volumes about his sincerity in seeking worthy local educational programs to support."
The $2 million unrestricted gift supports the Dean's Fund for Excellence, a School of Dentistry discretionary account that provides the dean flexibility to respond quickly to changes in the academic environment and help the school take advantage of unexpected opportunities for growth. Although Dean Clinton does not yet know how the gift will be used, "there is huge opportunity for us to invest in new initiatives that would form the foundation for our continued distinction as a premier dental school," he said.
The $2 million gift also will push the School of Dentistry beyond its $14 million Oregon Opportunity goal. The Oregon Opportunity campaign, which began in March 2000, is a statewide public-private partnership designed to make Oregon a leader in biomedical research and to support key projects and priorities. The $500 million effort is being funded by an innovative combination of public and private dollars: $200 million in public funding through a voter-approved bond initiative and $300 million generated through private donations.
"I never imagined five years ago when we started the campaign that we would not only meet our $14 million goal, but surpass it with time to spare," said Rick Wilson, D.D.S., chairman of the School of Dentistry Fundraising Council. "This is a very exciting time for OHSU and I am proud the dental school was able to raise more than its share of the Oregon Opportunity goal to help the university and dental school continue to grow."
The $2 million gift comes at a critical time for the OHSU School of Dentistry. "With state funding at a low, philanthropy is extremely important to our success," said Dean Clinton. "Breaking fund-raising records is great, but we will need to continue surpassing our records for many years to come if we are to be a truly healthy educational institution."