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In 2012, the University of Portland was named the top producer of Fulbright scholars in the nation among “master’s universities” for the third consecutive year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The University had 16 alumni win the prestigious grants to work and study abroad over the past two years.
For three consecutive years, Washington Monthly has ranked the University in the top three nationally among peer institutions for its commitment to community service. In 2010 and 2011, the University ranked first.
In 2010, the University ranked No. 1 nationally among its peer institutions in producing Peace Corps volunteers per capita, with 23 undergraduate alumni serving worldwide. Also, in 2010, the University of Portland was one of 25 schools rated nationally by Parade magazine as an “A-List” college for its programs in health sciences (nursing) and in business and accounting.
Five new buildings were dedicated in 2010, including two new residence halls, a landmark bell tower, an expanded dining center as well as a renovated engineering building. In December 2010, the University announced the public phase of the RISE campaign, with a goal of raising $175 million over the next several years, which would result in one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.
The University of Portland was founded in September, 1901 by Portland Archbishop Alexander Christie, who had purchased property atop Waud’s Bluff with financial assistance from the Congregation of Holy Cross in Sound Bend, Indiana. Archbishop Christie named the school “Columbia University” after the mighty river that flowed nearby, and when it opened its doors, it was staffed with priests from the archdiocese.
Columbia University achieved junior college status in 1922, and in 1925 the College of Arts and Sciences was founded. Four years later the first bachelor’s degrees were awarded to a class of seven men. In the 1930s, the University’s name was changed to the University of Portland, the St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing became part of the University as the College of Nursing, and the School of Business were created. In 1948, the School of Engineering was created. The University established its Graduate School in 1950 and the School of Education in 1962. In 1967 the Congregation of Holy Cross and the University’s Board of Regents transitioned to a shared governance structure. Today, the University continues to be guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross and governed by an independent board of directors.