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$10 million donation to support university art education from Jordan Schnitzer
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$10 million donation to support university art education from Jordan Schnitzer

Portland real estate developer Jordan Schnitzer donated $10 million to Portland State University.

The gift will sustain the free on-campus art museum that bears his name and help build a new home for the university’s art and design school.

Construction of the new school building on the southern edge of the South Park Blocks is expected to begin this year, with a grand opening in 2026. State bonds approved by the Oregon Legislature will help pay for the project.

“My parents always taught me to (whom) much is given, much is expected,” said Schnitzer.

The Schnitzer School of Art + Art History + Design is scheduled to open in 2026 at the southern edge of the South Park Blocks.

The $10 million dollar gift answers a call from Oregon Governor Tina Kotek to help revitalize downtown Portland. Last year, Kotek created a task force of business, community, and education leaders.

“It’s not just about government solving the challenges ahead of us, because it is all of us coming together to solve the problems facing us,” said Kotek.

Local leaders, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, hope the PSU campus will be seen as a downtown arts destination.

“You can no longer count on people having to be located in cities. Instead, you must want people to be located in cities,” explained Wheeler. “I’m a strong proponent of arts, culture, education, and commerce, which are things that make people want to be in a thriving city.”

One million dollars of the gift will help PSU improve its urban campus through better lighting and outdoor art.

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