Dundon-Berchtold Institute | University of Portland

Dundon-Berchtold Institute

Welcome to the Dundon-Berchtold Institute for Moral Formation & Applied Ethics!

The vision of the Dundon-Berchtold Institute (DBI) is to inspire communities and individuals toward character development and ethical action in pursuit of the common good.

Anchored in the virtues of curiosity and compassion, the Dundon-Berchtold Institute creates and facilitates moments of encounter, accompaniment, and dialogue for University and civic communities. Through experiences and conversations, we explore the values that drive the decisions we make and the habits we practice that form and inform who we are and who we are becoming.

DBI’s signature programs include the Research in the Application of Ethics program, the Ethics and the Professions Internship program, and its annual Ethics Week.



Even well after graduation, students testify to the continuing influence that the Institute's courses, conversations, and experiences has on their personal and professional lives. This enduring impact is in tremendous part thanks to the vision, passion, and generosity of Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold '63.

Thank you, Amy and Jim!

To this day, I have that class to thank for opening my mind and helping me realize that not every situation fits a box, that every side to an argument has merit, and behind every position is a real person shaped by his or her past and experiences. I am forever grateful to be a part of this community. - Adrienne Suñer '13

Thank you for caring about the ethical development of young adults; together, the two of you are making a difference in the lives of University of Portland students and the community. - Kimmy England '16

In all honesty, I am thankful every day for you both. You are wonderful people, Jim and Amy…I am so humbled by the character you two exude. - Nolan Ripple '15

Without your generous contributions into this incredible program, I would not have had this influential opportunity to discuss these crucial questions. Your generosity is inspiring, and I hope to one day also give back to this very program so that more students like myself can have these critical conversations. - Lydia Heye '19

Thank you for the Character Project, and for your involvement in the University of Portland. The world is better for it. - Corey Trujillo '14

…it is my sincerest hope that you both know of the tremendous impact you’ve had on this world through the students, alumni, and friends of Pilots who are working to make this world a better place every single day. For your kindness and generosity, thank you. - Nick MacKinnon '15

Thank you so much for your indispensable generosity and for your support of greater discussion and thought. In a world that is sorely lacking in this, your class is a beacon for students at UP who desire enlightening discussion, truth, and stronger community. - Catherine Jacobs '18

…thank you for taking a chance on a project that has had a positive impact on so many lives—and so many more to come. - Joe Sleven '13

The conversations that took place in those spaces allowed us to grow deeper in our faith, with our friendships, our community, and our personal lives...Thank you both for your life-altering work, your contagious joy, and always uplifting spirits. Without your generosity, we would not be who we are today. - Jordan '15 and Jenna '16 Schiemer

I am near tears recalling the numerous ways in which these experiences have carved deep ruts in my ethical and emotional life…Thank you both for your early and strong involvement in my life. I am forever grateful. - Jonathan Wiley '19

Please know of my heartfelt appreciation for all you have done to make it possible for students, such as myself, to ask the difficult questions, challenge ourselves so we are better formed, and become who we were made to be in service to others. - Stephanie Petrie '14

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to grow into the young woman I am today. - Micaela Snashall '18

I would like to thank you both for your generosity in making this class possible. With each passing semester, I can assure you that another cohort of students walk the paths of the University of Portland with greater intention and intellectual curiosity than before. - Monique Baynes '16

I want to say thank you for what you have been so generous to give to students: opportunities. You have given students in The Character Project class the opportunity to voice their perspectives and learn from the myriad of other ones. You have given students the opportunity to have meaningful conversations about difficult topics in a space of support and of love. And now, you are giving students the incredible opportunity to learn and engage in a beautiful new academic building. You are giving students another place to connect with professors, expand on their interests, continue to form their moral standards, and practice faith through all things. - Haley Meisburger '19