The University of Portland has announced a RISE Campaign donation of $4 million from Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold ’63, to create an endowment for the Dundon-Berchtold Fund for Moral Development and Applied Ethics. The gift, which was announced at the recent annual retreat of the board of regents, will have a significant and lasting impact on the University, according to president-elect Rev. Mark Poorman, C.S.C., who was instrumental in the creation of the fund. The gift will create an endowment, providing for sufficient operating funds and an endowed directorship.
The Berchtolds provided seed money two years ago to create an initiative that focuses on character formation and applied ethics. The initiative includes “The Character Project,” which offers a venue for students to engage in guided discussions as to how personal value systems and beliefs can influence moral character. Fr. Poorman created a similar program at the University of Notre Dame, where he previously team-taught a class with University regent Carolyn Woo. Amy Dundon-Berchtold is also a member of UP’s board of regents.
Amy Dundon-Berchtold became familiar with the Portland community and University of Portland largely through her husband, Jim Berchtold, a 1963 UP graduate. The couple met following the loss of both of their spouses. The couple began discussing the idea of moral formation and applied ethics during a University trip in 2011 that included several priests from the Congregation of Holy Cross. During discussions on that trip with Fr. Poorman and others, the couple made an on-the-spot exploratory gift of $25,000. Several months later, after the initial project was fine-tuned, the couple donated $500,000 to bring Fr. Poorman’s vision to reality.
The Dundon-Berchtold gift is part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 and seeks to raise $175 million by 2014. The campaign has raised more than $172 million to date and is one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university. For more information contact the development office at 7395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.