The University of Portland Garaventa Center was dedicated on June 2, 2005. With the establishment of the Garaventa Center, the University of Portland and the Garaventa family together brought to fruition a creative enterprise that celebrates and invigorates the University's century-old Catholic tradition, and brings to bear the values of the Catholic tradition on the development of American culture. Through the scholarly work of lectures, debates, dialogue, and the shared resources of conferences, the Garaventa Center endeavors to explore the rich intersection of Catholicism and American culture.
In founding the Center the Garaventa family expressed the desire that the work of the Garaventa Center be both deep and broad. In keeping with these wishes the Garaventa Center will hold major conferences to examine the intersection between faith and American culture. The inaugural conference, Teaching, Faith, and Service: the Foundation of Freedom, was held June 2-4, 2005. The second conference, The American Experiment: Religious Freedom, was held in April 2007. In 2010, Elias Chcour, Archbishop of Galilee, gave the keynote address at History (1933-1948): What We Choose to Remember. In 2013, University of Portland hosted The Impact of Catholic Education in America: Past, Present and Futurewith a keynote address by Thomas Groome of Boston College.