The University of Oregon has announced a $10 million gift from the Robert J. DeArmond Trust in support of research that improves lives as well as the state's economy.
The gift will provide a permanent research fund in the form of an endowment for the Robert and Leona DeArmond Executive Director at the planned Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. Scientist and entrepreneur Robert Guldberg, who currently leads the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will become the inaugural DeArmond Executive Director later this summer. The gift also will support efforts to recruit top senior faculty members and accelerate research at the nexus of bioengineering, neuroengineering, and medicine.
Retired lumber products company executive Robert DeArmond earned a degree in business administration from the university in 1952 and served as a UO Foundation trustee for a decade. Leona DeArmond, who died last year, was a 1951 UO graduate who studied voice and piano and sang with the university choir. Longtime supporters of the university, the DeArmonds' leadership challenge gift in 2005 helped launch the fundraising effort for construction of the MarAbel B. Frohnmayer Music Building. They also have supported scholarships in business, music and athletics, and have given to UO Libraries, the Olum Child Development program, and the Allan Price Science Commons and Research Library.
"We are creating a place that will harness the latest discoveries in science to improve the lives of humans throughout the world," said UO president and professor of law Michael H. Schill. "By supporting our faculty members and their vital work, the DeArmond Trust is helping manifest the extraordinary vision of Phil and Penny Knight. We are grateful for their generous, forward-looking philanthropy."
(Photo credit: University of Oregon)