Block graduated from the University of Portland in 1971 with a business administration degree and is president of Block Electric Co. Inc. From his donation, $25,000 will go to the Pamplin School of Business Administration and $25,000 to the future Recreation and Wellness Center.
He began his career with Block Electric immediately after earning a degree at UP and eventually became the company’s president in 1980. The electrical contractor company, founded by his grandfather in 1920 and based in Northern Illinois, specializes in commercial, industrial, institutional and telephone/data installations. As a long-tenured president of the company, Block has enjoyed his involvement as a leader in the electrical contracting arena. Block formerly served on the University’s Presidential Advisory Council for the Pamplin School of Business Administration.
Keith Larson is a vice president of Intel and a managing director of Intel Capital (Intel Corporation’s venture capital organization). Formerly, he was vice president of a start-up footwear and apparel company, founder of InterVen Partners (a venture capital partnership), CFO of First Interstate Capital, and a senior accountant with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (predecessor to KPMG). A 1980 cum laude graduate of University of Southern California, he is a C.P.A.
Jim Murphy is currently an executive vice president for Costco Wholesale and a member of the Costco Executive Committee. His responsibilities include directing the activities and expansion of Costco’s operations outside of North America. He is also responsible for the U.S. based global buying and export groups. He received an MBA from the University of Portland in 1991 and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Southern California.
The three gifts are part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 and seeks to raise $175 million over the next several years. The campaign, which has raised more than $142 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.