University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

University of Portland receives gift of special equipment to help maintain carpets in campus buildings

University of Portland has announced a RISE Campaign gift of special equipment for carpet cleaning from Michael E. Nelson, who graduated from UP in 1976 with a business degree in accounting. Nelson has made previous gifts to the University, including one to establish a Walter E. Nelson Distinguished professorship in the Pamplin School of Business.

The donated equipment, valued at nearly $20,000, included a Tennant V-WA-26 wide area vacuum and an (R14) Tennant TM9001689 Rider Ready Space Extractor with accessories. The wide area vacuum is designed to deliver outstanding water lift off of carpets. Its benefits include easily cleaning dust-sensitive environments with a sophisticated dust filtration system. An operator of the R14 equipment rides the machine, which uses 80 percent less water than most carpet cleaners and leaves up to 90 percent less water in the carpet. The R14 is designed to help reduce mold and bacteria growth and leave spaces cleaner and healthier.

Nelson’s prior gift to the Pamplin School of Business was in memory of his father, who in 1945 founded Walter E. Nelson Company, which today has become one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier janitorial and paper supply distribution networks. Walter Nelson started the company while home on leave from the navy during World War II. The original name of the company was I & I Supply. After the war, Walter and Carl Roes were the first employees with Walter’s father Emil doing deliveries part time. The name of the company was later changed to the Walter E. Nelson Company.

Michael Nelson joined the business full time after graduating from the University of Portland. The company today offers service in janitorial, paper, chemical and packaging supply needs. It has grown significantly over the decades and today includes a state-of-the art corporate office and warehouse facility on Swan Island. The company also has branches in Klamath Falls, North Bend, Seattle, Bend, Walla Walla, Spokane, Astoria and Eugene.

Nelson’s 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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