University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

University of Portland receives $1.35 million gift from the estate of alumna and longtime UP supporter Elizabeth James

Over the past year, University of Portland has been the beneficiary of a $1.35 million gift from the estate of alumna Elizabeth James, ’77, ‘86. A portion of the gift, more than $1 million, was dedicated to the renovated Clark Library, where a state-of-the-art conference room was named in her honor. In addition, the Elizabeth A. James Endowed Scholarship Fund was established with $350,000 of the estate’s gift. The scholarship fund goes to help students enrolled in the Pamplin School of Business.

James was director of finance for Providence Health Systems in Portland when she passed away in 2012 at the age of 57. She graduated from Hudson’s Bay High School as the valedictorian. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1977 and an MBA in 1986, both from University of Portland. After passing her exam for Certified Public Accountant, she worked as an auditor for Blue Cross, Blue Shield.  In 1983, she joined Providence, where she worked for most of her career.

She was a longtime supporter of the University of Portland, an avid reader and enjoyed knitting, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, gardening, and photography. She traveled extensively, first with People-to-People, a high school exchange program and then returned to England to visit friends from some of those home stays. She loved the opera and the Shakespeare Festival and made numerous trips around the country with her father.

She volunteered extensively for numerous organizations and causes she supported.  For more than 20 years she served as the assistant treasurer for Glenwood Community Church.  For 12 years she handled the books for Heart of Hope Ministries International.

Her 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 has raised more than $172 million to date and 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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