2022 Highlights | University of Portland

2022 Highlights

Inauguration of President Robert D. Kelly

Dr. Robert D. Kelly

In April, the University appointed Dr. Robert D. Kelly as the 21st president in the institution’s 121-year history. Describing July 1 as “my first day as your president” in a message to the UP community, Dr. Kelly made history as the first lay person and person of color chosen to lead the University.

On September 23, President Kelly and his family celebrated his Inauguration with more than 1,000 UP students, faculty, staff, alumni, Regents, benefactors, friends, civic leaders and higher education delegates. In his Inaugural Address, Dr. Kelly spoke of the University of Portland as a “shining beacon on The Bluff.” 

Awards & Rankings

Best Colleges

University of Portland

University of Portland achieved the #1 ranking among ‘Regional Universities – West” for 2022-23 in U.S. News & World Report’s listing of Best Colleges and Universities. UP earned the West’s top spot after three consecutive years in the top three, and it marked the institution’s 28th consecutive year in the Top 10.

Pamplin School of Business

The Pamplin School of Business at UP continues to rank among the best part-time MBA programs, earning accolades for its flexible graduate programs. Best Value Schools ranks UP’s MBA program #1 among all MBA programs in Oregon, citing its affordable cost and excellent faculty-to-student ratio.

First In-Person Commencement Since 2019

Commencement crowd

In the spring, the UP community honored its graduating class of 2022 with the University’s first in-person commencement ceremonies since 2019.

UP alumnus Kunal Nayyar ’03, who starred in the hit CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” gave a stirring Sunday commencement address, advising graduates to “live a life of yes” and to embrace their own unique journey.

Faculty Awards

Faculty awards

At the annual Faculty Awards celebration, six outstanding UP faculty members were honored for excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, leadership and mentorship.


Stephanie Salomone
  • Supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, UP professors Molly Hiro and Jen McDaneld embarked on a mission to change the way students connect with the community through engaged study in the humanities.

Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation

 Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation

In October, Darlene Marcos Shiley visited campus to lead a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation, set for a January 2024 opening. Mrs. Shiley’s $10 million lead gift inspired a state-of-the-art building and maker space for students — honoring her late husband, UP alumnus Donald P. Shiley ’51.

Walter E. Nelson Facilities Services Building

Walter E. Nelson Facilities Services Building

In May, the University dedicated and opened the Walter E. Nelson Facilities Services Building on the Franz River Campus. A $10 million gift from Michael E. Nelson ’76 and his wife Arlette created an expansive, new home base for UP Facilities Services, the “unsung heroes” of the campus community.

Welcoming the UP Class of 2026

In August, President Robert D. Kelly and the University community welcomed the incoming first-year Class of 2026 on Move-In Day and Orientation Weekend, which included inspiring last words of advice from parents to their new Pilots.

New Diversity Center

Diversity Center

Fostering “belonging on The Bluff,” a new Diversity Center opened on the first floor of Buckley Center. A 15-month collaboration of students, faculty and staff — the 1,300 square foot Diversity Center offers a welcoming, inclusive space for people to gather, study and engage with each other.

Pilot Athletics

University of Portland's women's basketball team members celebrating


University of Portland's men's soccer team


Laura Pellicoro