University of Portland

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University of Portland
University of Portland seal.svg
Former names
Columbia University
MottoLatin: Veritas vos Liberabit
Motto in English
The truth will set you free
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
Catholic (Congregation of Holy Cross)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$140.2 million[1]
PresidentRev. Mark L. Poorman
Students4,205 (fall 2019)[2]
Undergraduates3,773 (fall 2019)[2]
Postgraduates432 (fall 2019)[2]
Location, ,
United States

Coordinates: 45°34′21″N 122°43′38″W / 45.57250°N 122.72722°W / 45.57250; -122.72722
CampusResidential, 124 acres (0.50 km²)
ColorsPurple and white[3]
AthleticsNCAA Division IWest Coast Conference
MascotWally Pilot
University of Portland logo.svg
Swan Island Basin and the city of Portland from bluff trail

The University of Portland (UP) is a private Catholic university in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1901 and is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross, which also founded UP's sister school the University of Notre Dame. The university enrolls approximately 4,200 students.

The campus is located in the University Park neighborhood near St. Johns, on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River. With a college of arts and sciences; a graduate school; and schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing, it is the only comprehensive Catholic university in Oregon.[4] It is the largest corporation in North Portland and has an annual economic impact on Portland of some $170 million. More than 13,000 alumni live in the Portland metropolitan area.[4]


Waldschmidt Hall, formerly West Hall, at the University of Portland

The first institution located on Waud's Bluff was Portland University, which was established by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1891. Amid financial setbacks following the Panic of 1893, Portland University vacated the Bluff Campus to hold classes from 1896 to 1897 in East Portland,[5][6] where it was joined temporarily by the recently insolvent College of Puget Sound.[7]

According to University of Portland tradition,[8] Archbishop Alexander Christie, the head of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, saw a large building on the bluff from aboard a ship on the nearby Willamette River. He learned that it was called West Hall and had been unoccupied for several years since the closure of Portland University.

The Archdiocese purchased West Hall (renamed Waldschmidt Hall in 1992) and the surrounding campus with financial assistance from the Congregation of Holy Cross, and named the new institution Columbia University after the nearby Columbia River. The university opened its doors to 52 young men on September 5, 1901, with eight Catholic priests from the local archdiocese serving as professors.[8] At the request of the archbishop, the Congregation of the Holy Cross assumed ownership of the university in 1902.[8]

After two decades, Columbia University achieved junior college status. In 1925, the university's College of Arts and Sciences was founded, and in 1929, a class of seven men were awarded the university's first bachelor's degrees.[8] In 1935, the school took on its present name.[9] The 1930s also saw the St. Vincent Hospital school incorporated to the university as the School of Nursing, and the creation of the School of Business.[8]

In 1948 the school of Engineering was founded, followed by the Graduate School in 1950 and the School of Education in 1962. University of Portland admitted women to all courses of study in 1951.[4] Prior to this transition, Marylhurst University had been the only Catholic institution of higher learning to serve the educational needs of Oregon women. The building housing the library was completed in 1957.[10] In 1967 ownership of the school was transferred from the Congregation of Holy Cross to a board of Regents.[8] Multnomah College became part of the University of Portland (UP) in 1969.


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[11] 2
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[12] 64
Forbes[13] 125
THE/WSJ[14] 208

The University of Portland was ranked as the 2nd best "Regional University", tied at 3rd best for undergraduate teaching, and 19th for "Best Value School" in the Western region by U.S. News & World Report for 2021.[15]


Admission to UP is rated as "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report.[16]

For the Fall of 2019 Portland had an acceptance rate of 61%.[16] The average GPA of the enrolled freshmen was 3.65.[16] The middle 50% range of SAT scores were 580–660 for reading and writing, and 560–660 for math, while the middle 50% ACT composite range was 23–28.[16]


Main entrance to the university

UP has six divisions of study: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Pamplin School of Business Administration, the School of Education, the Shiley School of Engineering, the School of Nursing, and the Graduate School. The most popular majors for undergraduates are Nursing, Biology, Marketing & Management, Finance, Elementary Education, Organizational Communication, Psychology, and Spanish.

College of Arts & Sciences[edit]

The College of Arts & Sciences is the liberal arts core of the university and has seventeen departments: Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, English, Environmental Science, International Languages & Cultures, History, Mathematics, Performing & Fine Arts, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Social Work, Sociology, and Theology.

Several of the departments offer graduate programs in addition to their undergraduate majors, and these programs dual report to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and the Dean of the Graduate School. The Communication Studies department offers a M.A. in communication and a M.S. in Management Communication. The Performing & Fine Arts department offers the M.F.A. in Directing. This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.[17] The Theology department offers a three-year Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. The M.A.P.M. program was started in 2000 in collaboration with Gonzaga University, but in 2010 the partnership ended and the University of Portland continues to offer the program independently.

Pamplin School of Business Administration[edit]

The Pamplin School of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Its undergraduate program ranked as among the "Best Undergraduate Business Programs" by U.S. News and its Part-Time MBA is placed highly in U.S. News' Best Grad School rankings.

The undergraduate program offers a BA in economics and a BBA in five different areas: Accounting, Finance, Economics, Marketing and Sustainability, and Operations and Technology Management.

At the graduate level the PSOBA offers a MS in finance, a MS in Operations & Technology Management, an MBA, an MBA in Nonprofit Administration, a technology entrepreneurship certificate, and a post-MBA certificate. The graduate degrees are accountable to both the Dean of the PSOBA and the Dean of the Graduate School. The MBA program is noted for its diversity within the context of Oregon. Among the five AACSB MBA programs in Oregon, Pamplin School of Business has the highest percentage of women, minorities, and international students.[18]

School of Education[edit]

The University of Portland School of Education is an undergraduate and graduate program which provides graduates with a teaching license in some, but not all U.S. states. The program is characterized by an emphasis on field experience, and inclusion, with first classroom placements beginning almost immediately. It received the 2002 Model of Excellence Award from the Association of Independent Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE).[19]

The PACE (Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education) program allows 15-25 teachers to earn a graduate degree during summer school, while gaining in-classroom teaching experience during the academic year at a Catholic school over a three-year period. PACE students live in community with other PACE students in Draper, Ogden, and Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, and Tri-Cities, Washington; Redding and Red Bluff, and Sacramento, California; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Portland, Oregon.

At the graduate level, the school of education offers a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, a Master of Arts, a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Education, and post-Master's certificate programs in neuroeducation, reading, special education, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and educational administration.

Shiley School of Engineering[edit]

The school of engineering was founded in 1948[8] and grew substantially in 1969 when UP absorbed Multnomah College. Multnomah College had been established in 1897 as the Educational Department of the YMCA in downtown Portland, Oregon,[20] and in 1969 was the oldest fully accredited two-year college in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Multnomah College was noted for its engineering program and as a result of the merger UP renamed its school the Multnomah School of Engineering. University of Portland's School of Engineering is a perennially top-40 school among the nation's bachelor's and master's degrees-granting institutions, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2012, it ranked 35th.[19]

In 2007 the University of Portland was given a $12 million gift (the largest in UP's history at that time) toward the School of Engineering by Donald and Darlene Shiley of San Diego. Donald Shiley arrived at UP the year the school of engineering was founded. Graduating in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in general engineering, he would later invent a heart valve and various medical devices that have been credited with saving thousands of lives. Shiley Hall is now the largest building on the UP campus[21] and has won several awards for sustainable design and construction.[22][23] The Shileys later gave an additional $8 million gift to the engineering school, which was then renamed the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering.[24]

The school offers accredited Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering, as well as a Bachelor of Science in computer science. A Master of Engineering degree, in collaboration with the Pamplin School of Business Administration, is offered at the graduate level.

School of Nursing[edit]

The school of nursing was established as the St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in 1892,[25] two years after the northwest region's first nurse training program was founded at nearby Good Samaritan Hospital.[26] Throughout the 20th century many nursing education programs relocated from hospitals to institutions of higher learning; the St. Vincent school became part of this national trend when it joined the University of Portland in 1934[27] and began granting a four-year degree in 1938.[25] Today most clinical practice still takes place at St. Vincent Hospital and other hospitals associated with Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry.

The School of Nursing awards the BS in Nursing baccalaureate degree and the MS in Nursing graduate degree. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a professional doctorate program initiated in 2008. The master's entry program (AEM-UP) enables individuals who possess a non-nursing bachelor's degree to enter nursing at the graduate level. In collaboration with practice partners, the clinical nurse leader Master of Science degree prepares generalists for leadership at the point of care. In 2007, the School of Nursing was ranked 72nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.[28] American Assembly for Men in Nursing named the University of Portland the nation's Best Nursing School for Men.[19]

Graduate School[edit]

The Graduate School oversees the post-bachelor's degree programs that are embedded within the College of Arts & Sciences and the four professional schools. The Dean of the Graduate School reports to the Provost and collaborates with the deans of the various schools to ensure academic standards are enforced for their respective graduate-level courses of study.


Franz Hall

The University of Portland sits on top of Waud's Bluff overlooking the industrialized Swan Island and the Willamette River. The university is located in the University Park neighborhood of North Portland, a primarily residential area of the city. The university campus is bordered by Willamette Boulevard to the east, the Willamette River to the west and south and private residences to the north.

The campus itself is a traditional college campus with three residential quads, East Quad, Villa Quad, and North Quad, as well as an Academic Quad. The main academic building on campus is Franz Hall. Located at the center of the university across from the Chapel of Christ the Teacher, it houses the Pamplin School of Business and the School of Education. Other academic buildings include Buckley Center, Swindells Hall, Shiley Hall, Romanaggi Hall, Mago Hunt Center, and the Clark Library.

There are ten main residence hall communities on campus: Mehling Hall, Corrado Hall, Villa Maria,[29] Shipstad Hall,[30] Kenna Hall, Christie Hall, Haggerty and Tyson Halls, Fields Hall, Schoenfeldt Hall, and Lund Family Hall. They are divided into three residential quads: Villa Quad, East Quad, and North Quad. Mehling, Corrado, and Villa Maria are situated around the Villa Quad, and Shipstad, Kenna, and Christie are situated around the East Quad. The North Quad comprises Fields, Schoenfeldt, Haggerty & Tyson, and Lund Family Hall.

Reserve Officers' Training Corps[edit]

The University of Portland currently host two detachments of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps: the Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps and the Army Reserve Officer's Training Corps.

The Air Force ROTC program at the University of Portland is one of the oldest programs on campus, established in 1951.[31] The AFROTC unit on the campus, known as Detachment 695, is also one of the largest in the country, with its membership numbering nearly 4% of the campus undergraduate student population. In 2004, Detachment 695 was recognized as the top large detachment in the nation, receiving AFROTC's prestigious Right of Line Award. In 2011, the detachment received recognition as the top unit of 34 in the AFROTC Northwest Region. In 2012, Detachment 695 again won AFROTC's Right of Line Award, this time as the best medium-sized detachment in the nation. The offices for Detachment 695 are located in the basement of Kenna Hall.

Since 1996, the university has hosted an Army ROTC program which has grown to include over 70 cadets and a cadre of seven faculty and staff.[32] Offices for the University of Portland Pilot Battalion of the Army ROTC are located in Villa Maria.


The Chiles Center dome, home of Pilot basketball, which is now painted white

UP's NCAA soccer program became well known after Clive Charles, who started coaching the men's team in 1986, added the women's head coaching job in 1989, heading both teams until his death in 2003. The women's team won the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2002 and 2005, led both years by current Canadian international star Christine Sinclair. Four current US men's internationals, Conor Casey, Steve Cherundolo, Heath Pearce and Kasey Keller, also attended the University of Portland, as did longtime US women's internationals Shannon MacMillan and Tiffeny Milbrett and current women's international players Stephanie Lopez and Megan Rapinoe. After his death Charles was replaced by his assistant Bill Irwin. Home matches are played at 4,892-seat Merlo Field, part of the Clive Charles Soccer Complex[33] on campus. The University of Portland's soccer team is one of the oldest college programs in the U.S., going back to 1910, and was played as a club sport almost continually until 1977, when it gained full varsity status.

Beyond soccer, UP also boasts one of the nation's top NCAA Division I men's cross country teams. Coached by Rob Conner, the Pilots have won 31 straight West Coast Conference Championships, one of the longest active conference championship streaks in the NCAA. On the national level, UP has finished in the top ten at the NCAA Championships four times. In 2008, the Pilots placed 7th in the nation, matching their placing from 2001, and later in 2013. In 2014 the pilots placed third at the Division 1 national cross country Championships. In 2017 the Pilots cross country program placed 2nd at the Division 1 national cross country championships for their highest ever finish. Individually, Portland has had such standouts as Uli Steidl, John Moore, Michael Kilburg, Andy Holstrom, Josh Bland, Chris Borg, and most notably, David Kinsella. In 2008, the same year as the 7th-place team finish, Kinsella ended up 4th at the NCAA nationals, marking the highest individual finish ever for a UP runner at a national championship.

Other intercollegiate sports at UP include basketball, baseball, volleyball, track and field, tennis, and rowing. In November 2010, the school announced it would add women's crew effective with the 2011–12 academic year, while dropping both men's and women's golf. While none of these teams have the standing of the soccer program, the men's cross country program has won 31 conference titles in a row and has come into its own nationally over the past few years. In November 2005, the University of Portland stood at 25th in Sports Illustrated's College All Sport rankings. UP's previously sponsored football program was disbanded in 1950 due to lack of funding.

Students participate in club level sports such as men's and women's lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, crew, and water polo, as well as a variety of intramural sports.

Expansion and development[edit]

The school is undergoing expansion and renovations for both its campus housing facilities, academic buildings, and recreation facilities. For housing, a new residence hall (Lund Family) was built for the 2016–2017 school year. The university also renovated the existing dining facility known as The Commons, which was renamed the Bauccio Commons in honor of alumnus Fedele Bauccio, who founded the Bon Appetit Management Company which provides food services to the campus.

In academics, the Engineering Building was renovated using a $12 million gift for its expansion and improvement from Donald and Darlene Shiley. Additionally, the university has completely renovated the Clark Library. Elsewhere, a bell tower located adjacent to the Christ the Teacher Chapel was completed in September 2009.[34] At 100 feet, it is the tallest structure on campus, as well as in North Portland, a title that Mehling Hall held previously.

In athletics and recreation, in May 2014, the university began construction on the Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center, named after the university's 19th president, Rev. E. William Beauchamp. It will feature state of the art strength and cardio training facilities, 3 gymnasiums, a suspended track, a bike shop, classrooms, and an outdoor pursuits office. It was scheduled to be completed by May 2015. Additionally, in June 2014, renovations began on Joe Etzel Baseball field to include improved lighting, fencing, and artificial turf.

Plans for a $30 million, three-story academic building were announced in March 2017. The building encompasses 65,616 square feet with 17 classrooms, 35 faculty offices, 12 informal and formal gathering spaces, including 4 conference rooms, and the 146-seat Brian J. Doyle Auditorium.[35] Construction began September 2017, delayed a few months while the university was raising $15 million.[36] The hall is named the Dundon-Berchtold Hall, and was completed before the start of the 2019–2020 academic year.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "All U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2014 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "2019 At A Glance Publisher=University of Portland".
  3. ^ Primary Colors (PDF). University of Portland Visual Brand Identity Guide. December 9, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Doyle, Brian. "University of Portland". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Corning, Howard M. (1989) Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 202.
  6. ^ Gauntt, Tom. “Moo-vers and shakers on Waud’s Bluff”, The Oregonian, September 26, 2004, p. H2.
  7. ^ "The College of Puget Sound", Told by the Pioneers, WPA, 1937-38, p. 224, State of Washington
  8. ^ a b c d e f g U.P. History from the university's website
  9. ^ Postal Service to Issue Stamped Postal Card Honoring the University of Portland's 100th Anniversary Archived December 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, from the U.S. Postal Service website]
  10. ^ Jackson, Reed (April 3, 2012). "University of Portland to change identity of library". Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  12. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2021". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2021". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities (West)". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  16. ^ a b c d "Overview of University of Portland". U.S. News & World Report. 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  17. ^ "National Association of Schools of Theatre". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  18. ^ US News America's Best Graduate Schools 2010
  19. ^ a b c "About UP: Institutional Awards". University of Portland. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  20. ^ "School for Men to Open Soon". Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Oregonian Publishing. September 9, 1909. p. 33.
  21. ^ "Shiley School of Engineering: Welcome". University of Portland. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  22. ^ "Quick facts about UP and Shiley Hall awards". UP official website. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  23. ^ "Case study by firm that designed Shiley Hall, including LEED Platinum certification". Interface Engineering. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  24. ^ "Shiley School covered in student newspaper". UP Beacon. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  25. ^ a b St Vincent Hospital History from the St Vincent Hospital website
  26. ^ [1] Archived December 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ U.P. Nursing History Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine from the university's website
  28. ^ [2] Archived July 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Villa Maria Hall". University of Portland. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  30. ^ "Shipstad Hall". University of Portland. University of Portland. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  31. ^ Detachment 695 - University of Portland Archived April 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, from the University of Portland website
  32. ^ About the Battalion from the Army ROTC website
  33. ^ NCAA Website[permanent dead link] "A very gracious man" September 29, 2003 by Beth Rosenburg
  34. ^ [3], from the University of Portland website
  35. ^ "Dundon-Berchtold Hall". University or Portland. 2019.
  36. ^ "Construction of new academic building to begin this summer". The Beacon. March 20, 2017.

External links[edit]