University of Portland
10-10-2013
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

University of Portland receives $2.2 million gift from Vincent Aquino to establish a professorship in the Shiley School of Engineering to honor his parents

University of Portland has announced a gift of $2.2 million to create the Margaret M. and Vincent P. Aquino Endowed Professorship in Engineering, dedicated to undergraduate classroom instruction in the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering.

The fund was established by the late Vincent Aquino, who graduated from University of Portland in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering. He established a bequest in honor of his parents, neither of whom attended college but were determined to help their children do so. Three of their four children graduated from University of Portland and the other from Marylhurst University.

Vincent passed away in July 2013, and his estate has been handled by his brother Robert Aquino, who graduated from University of Portland in 1960 with a bachelor’s of science degree in physics. Robert currently serves on the University of Portland Engineering Advisory Council (UPEAC). Vincent was among the early members of the advisory group.

Although Vince worked in industry as an engineer and manager, his life was a monument to his commitment to education, whether it was guiding his employees, as a Boy Scout leader for thirty years, as an Instructor in college level night classes, or as a sponsor for religious instruction,” Robert said. “This bequest to establish the endowed professorship is the capstone of that life.”

“This gift acknowledges the holistic engineering education that we provide for our students so that they graduate with both the technical excellence and the commitment to help others,” said engineering dean Sharon Jones. “The Shiley School has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade and a gift such as this allows us to preserve a quality education filled with hands-on experiences and active faculty-student interaction. The entire School is so grateful to the Aquino family for their support over many years that will continue for future generations of UP engineers.”

After graduating from UP, Vincent joined General Electric Nuclear at Hanford, Washington, where he worked for three years as an engineer. In 1962, he earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Cal Tech. He worked at Westinghouse Naval Reactor Facility and Argonne National Labs, both in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The rest of his career was spent at Argonne National Labs, where he rose to the Directorship of Quality Assurance.

Vincent earned an MBA from the University of Idaho in 1974. He then taught night school courses in management and also nuclear regulatory law. A longtime member of the Idaho Falls Catholic community, he performed many community service activities, including as a longtime Scoutmaster for a Boy Scouts troop in Idaho Falls.

The faculty member who will receive the endowed professorship will be announced during the upcoming Faculty Awards Gala, set for May 6, 2014. The objective of the gift is to provide students a complete education that is ethically based and technically sound.

The gift is part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 and seeks to raise $175 million by 2014. The Campaign, which has raised more than $163 million to date, is one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.

The campaign’s goals are divided into four major themes, each with funding targets: (1) Pursuing academic excellence and faculty funding – $70 million; (2) Providing access for all students and direct assistance – $45 million; (3) Developing faith and leadership – $10 million; and (4) Enriching the campus community and physical resources – $50 million.

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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