The Oregon Community Foundation has announced a $150 million bequest from the estate of Fred W. Fields to create a fund that will support education and arts programs in the state.
The biggest gift in the foundation's nearly forty-year-history will be used to create the Fred W. Fields Fund at OCF, which, with $1.1 billion in assets, is the largest foundation in the state. In 2011, the foundation disbursed roughly $86 million in grants and scholarships through various funds.
During their lifetimes, Fields, an engineer who owned the Coe Manufacturing Company from 1976 to 2000, and his wife, Suzanne, contributed generously to education and art institutions in the state, including Lewis & Clark College, the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Health and Science University, the Oregon Historical Society, and the University of Oregon. When Fields died in December, two years after his wife, he left bequests to many of the organizations he and his wife had supported over the years.
"OCF is honored to be the steward of a gift that will annually provide millions of dollars in support for essential education and arts programs in communities across the state," said Oregon Community Foundation president and CEO Max Williams. "It is really a gift to Oregon — and will continue the generous spirit of giving personified by Fred and Sue Fields."