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UP regents commit $15 million for new academic center

COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND - University of Portland regents Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold have committed $15 million to help build a new academic center on the North Portland campus.University of Portland regents Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold have committed $15 million to help fund the university’s Dundon-Berchtold Institute for Moral Formation and Applied Ethics and serve as a lead gift toward construction of a new academic center that will be the future home of the institute.

University of Portland President Rev. Mark L. Poorman announced the gift during the Friday, Sept. 25, fall Board of Regents meeting.

“This gift from the Dundon-Berchtolds is transformational for the University of Portland,” Poorman said. “As the student population at the university has grown 30 percent over the past decade, our classroom space has remained the same. In order to keep our cherished student to faculty ratio at 14 to 1, we are utilizing classrooms from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. A 21st century academic building will take UP to even greater heights. I am extremely grateful to Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold for their incredible generosity and their enormous investment in our students and faculty.This new academic center will have a deep impact on the UP campus and our students’ experiences for generations to come.”

Amy Dundon-Berchtold became familiar with the Portland community and University of Portland largely through her husband, Jim Berchtold, a 1963 UP graduate.

Jim Berchtold co-founded the university's Center for Entrepreneurship in 2001. He previously served as executive director for Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum, now the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.

The new academic center, known as Dundon-Berchtold Hall, will also house classrooms, faculty offices, key programs and a gathering space. With the lead gift in place, the University will seek additional gifts to complete the academic building, expected to cost $30 million.

During the past decade, the university’s Rise Campaign helped raise $182 million to build or renovate 11 buildings or structures on the 150-acre campus.