University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

Class of 2016 moving in August 23; among the most academically gifted class in school history

University of Portland welcomes the Class of 2016 as freshmen move into the dorms on Thursday, August 23. It is among the most academically accomplished incoming class in University history, with an approximate average SAT score of 1194 (the second highest in school history) and average high school GPA of 3.64.

“The University of Portland’s reputation continues to get stronger and stronger,” said dean of admissions Jason McDonald. “More applicants have allowed us to be more selective, and we’ve seen our academic profile and geographical diversity increase.”

At approximately 880, the new freshmen comprise the second-largest class in University history. They are also geographically diverse, with 41 percent of the class hailing from outside Oregon and Washington.

The University is also attracting more and more of the most elite regional students. According to a study by The Oregonian, twenty-three Portland-area valedictorians are among the Class of 2016, tops among all private schools nationally and more than twice as many as all other private colleges in Portland combined.

Not only is the Class of 2016 among the most academically gifted, it is the most exclusive as well. The University continues to see an increase in the number of students applying for admission with 8,700 completed applications, a new school record. As applications increase so does selectivity – the University’s acceptance rate is estimated to be near 66 percent on completed applications, which is the lowest mark in school history.

The students will be on campus all weekend preparing for the 2012-13 academic year to commence Monday, August 27 with the start of fall semester. Total undergraduate enrollment is expected to be close to 3,940 students; official enrollment figures are confirmed two weeks into the academic year.

University of Portland today
The University of Portland’s commitment to its mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership has been successfully proved through its graduates – the University has ranked first nationally among peer institutions for the number of alumni earning Fulbright scholarships for two consecutive years (Chronicle of Higher Education) and is ranked first nationally among peer institutions for community service (Washington Monthly).

In April 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek named University of Portland the top school in Oregon for “return on investment” for the second consecutive year. In a state-by-state ranking of schools providing graduates with the most return for the price of their education, University of Portland came out on top among all colleges and universities in Oregon.

For the 17th consecutive year, the University earned a Top-10 ranking by U.S. News & World Report in its annual lists of best colleges. Washington Monthly, based in Washington D.C., has ranked the University of Portland fifth nationally among 551 master’s universities based on its “contribution to the public good.” PARADE Magazine also recently recognized the University, rating it an “A-List” college for its programs in “health sciences” (nursing) and in “business and accounting.” For both categories, only 25 schools nationally were recognized.

U.S. News & World Report also ranked the University 11th in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” for the West Region, a listing of schools that offer the best value as determined by a formula that relates a school’s academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of financial aid.

The incoming freshmen will immediately experience the University’s commitment to providing a campus conducive to success. In addition to taking advantage of small class settings (13:1 student-faculty ratio) and award-winning faculty, they will be among the first to enjoy a completely renovated Wilson W. Clark Memorial Library (to be completed in fall 2013) as well as six new or renovated campus buildings: a state-of-the-art engineering hall (Shiley Hall, dedicated in 2009), two new dormitories (Fields and Schoenfeldt Halls, dedicated in 2009), a remodeled and vastly expanded dining facility (Bauccio Commons, dedicated in 2010), a renovated science building (Romanaggi Hall, dedicated in 2010), and an expanded and renovated multipurpose athletic facility (Chiles Center, to be completed in fall 2012).

The University’s commitment to providing an excellent educational experience has not stopped there. In 2010 the University announced the RISE Campaign, seeking to raise $175 million over the next several years. It would result in one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university. As of August 2012, the University has raised more than $135 million as part of the campaign.

In addition to campus improvements, the campaign also focuses on scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships, the establishment of a fund to provide for the study of moral formation and applied ethics, faculty research opportunities, campus ministry and much, much more. For a list of Rise Campaign priorities please visit

University of Portland is Oregon’s only comprehensive university with schools of business, education, engineering, nursing, a College of Arts and Sciences and a graduate school. The University offers a rich resource for the community through educational opportunities, research, experts, in addition to a host of community offerings such as athletic events, cultural events, speakers and lectures.

UP students and alumni are resources for research, internships, and full-time employment. More than half of University of Portland’s 31,000 alumni reside in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. To learn more about why University students and alumni make excellent employees, visit Career Services at

New Promotional Campaign
University of Portland is launching a new set of promotional spots profiling successful students and alumni. Continuing the “Heroes” and “Rise” themes from its Fall 2010 first-ever promotional campaign, the spots will profile people from the University who exemplify the University of Portland values of Teaching & Learning, Faith & Formation, Service & Leadership. UP students and alumni are leaders in the classroom and the boardroom, in business and nonprofits, from the University’s athletic fields to cities across the world.

With the summer Olympics capturing the world’s attention and the Portland Pilots fall sports seasons underway, the focus is on a few of the University’s many talented student-athletes. All of the featured students excel in many areas of their young lives: in the classroom and in their fields of play, through volunteer work and service, all while competing at the highest level of collegiate athletics.

Kendall Johnson ’13: Hometown girl. State champion at Lincoln High School. All-American. Communication major. Soccer star extraordinaire and volunteer for Harper’s Playground, an organization whose mission is to build playgrounds accessible to all children. Loves the passionate and supportive Pilot fans at Merlo Field.

(Click thumbnail to watch video; direct link here:

Jared Bassett ’12: Oregon born. The first cross country state champion from Marshfield High School since Steve Prefontaine, NCAA All American on the track, and member of Team USA. Cross country standout, steeple chaser, nurse-to-be and a star in the university choir. Loves the sense of community at UP.

(Click thumbnail to watch video; direct link here:

Steven Evans ’14: Oregon 6A State Champion at Central Catholic High School. Freshman All-American in 2010. National Player of the Week in 2011. First in his family to go to college. Always wanted to go to UP. Member of the U-23 Timbers developmental team, studying business and hopes to make a positive impact with all he learns at UP. Loved being part of a clean-up effort in the St. John’s neighborhood.

(Click thumbnail to watch video; direct link here:

Sarah Bridges ’14: All-American and State Player of the Year at Jesuit High School. Starting central defender for the Pilots. Political science major pursuing a career in public service. Volunteer for Harper’s Playground and Children’s Cancer Association, and intern for U.S.  Senator Jeff Merkely. Loves being challenged by her professors and enjoys the small class size experience at UP.

(Click thumbnail to watch video; direct link here:

These spots were created by the University’s small in-house team and will be distributed through University of Portland social media channels, on KGW-TV, and in selected print publications. The goal of the spots is to raise awareness of the University of Portland and its students among the regional community.

University of Portland offers a rich resource for the community through educational opportunities, research, experts, in addition to a host of community offerings such as athletic events, cultural events, speakers and lectures. UP students and alumni are resources for research, internships, and full-time employment. More than half of University of Portland’s 31,000 alumni reside in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.

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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