The University of Oregon in Eugene has announced a $74.5 million gift from Lorry I. Lokey in support of science teaching and research and other programs on campus.
The largest gift for academic purposes in the university's history is designed to enhance the school's ability to recruit and retain faculty in the sciences and educate the next generation of scientists. Approximately $50 million of the gift will be used to support the Lorry I. Lokey Science Advancement and Graduate Education initiative, which will allocate $20 million to endowed faculty support, $10 million through a quasi-endowment for additional faculty support, $10 million for endowed support for graduate students, and $10 million through another quasi-endowment for program support.
As part of the university's broader initiatives on research excellence and graduate education, the funds will initially target areas of interdisciplinary scientific research aimed at improving the quality of human life, including fundamental genetic and molecular biology studies; neuroscience programs that emphasize the study of cognition, behavior, and brain adaptations to optimize the use of artificial limbs and other rehabilitative approaches; human physiology programs; and green nanotechnologies that have multiple application potential, including medical diagnosis and treatment. The gift also includes $2 million for a new endowed chair in chemistry for materials science research, $5 million for the UO science library, $3 million for an endowment supporting work at the intersection of the humanities and natural sciences, $2 million for an endowed scholarship program in the school of journalism and communication, $2 million for the new UO alumni center, $5.5 million for the president's special projects fund, and $1 million a year for the next five years to jumpstart these initiatives.
UO president Dave Frohnmayer said Lokey's gift was "catalytic" and would create a rising tide of expectation and achievement. "[Catalytic gifts] form a basis for securing additional gifts and competitive grants," said Frohnmayer. "They make the difference between good programs and great ones. But most of all, catalytic gifts have the potential to change the world as we know it."