UP receives $15 million donation towards Institute for Moral Formation and Applied Ethics, new academic building

| September 29, 2015 8:32am
Jim Berchtold and Amy Dundon-Berchtold. Photo courtesy of UP Marketing.

by Clare Duffy |

The University of Portland received a $15 million donation for the foundation of the Institute for Moral Formation and Applied Ethics and a new academic building, adding to a lengthy list of recent additions to the University. According to an email from President Fr. Mark Poorman on Friday, Board of Regents member Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold ’63 announced their pledge toward this new Dundon-Berchtold Institute and the new academic center which will serve as its home. The building will become the 13th  built or renovated on campus since 2009.

The University is expecting the new building, which will also contain classrooms, faculty offices, selected key programs and a gathering space, to cost about $30 million.

Author Meg Jay’s talk Sunday night on her book, “The Defining Decade,” was an initiative of the Dundon-Berchtold Institute.

“(The Berchtold’s) vision and their desire to positively impact the lives of others has allowed us to do some amazing, intentional work,” Director of the Dundon-Berchtold Institute Dan McGinty said during the introduction to Jay’s talk. “Thank you on behalf of all those who are here this evening, and those who will benefit of the amazing generosity you’ve shared with us.”

The Dundon-Berchtold’s endowment for the Institute for Moral Formation and Applied Ethics was established in recent years, and Poorman said it has already had a positive impact on the University.

The initiative is comprised of several elements, including an ethics class called “The Character Project,” faculty-student research projects and on-campus speakers like Jay. New York Times columnist David Brooks will be speaking at UP on behalf of the institute in March.


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the new Dundon-Berchtold building will be the 12th building renovated or erected on campus since 2009. It will be the 13th. 


Clare Duffy is the news editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at duffy17@up.edu or on Twitter @claresduff.