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The University of Oregon Receives Second Donation of $500 Million for New Campus

Bruce Damonte
University of Oregon

On Tuesday, the University of Oregon (UO) announced a $500 million gift for its Knight Campus. The contribution comes from Phil and Penny Knight.



The gift matches an earlier $500 million donation by the Knights in 2016, which founded the University’s new Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

Robert E. Guldberg, UO’s vice-president and leader of the new campus, expressed his hopes for the program going forward.

“The gift gives us life to a fuller vision,” Guldberg said, “enabling us to dream and reach for the future on a very compressed timeline, building what normally would take decades in just a number of years. We are empowered and energized by this opportunity to do what we love; training the next generation of diverse leaders in science and engineering, and translating scientific knowledge and discoveries into new industries and societal impact.”

According to the UO, the Knight campus enrolls 80-100 master’s degree students each year. These students specialize in materials science, bioinformatics and genomics, and emphasize hands-on training.

This fall, Oregon State University and the Knight campus will launch a bioengineering doctoral program with nearly 20 students. The Knight Campus’ first undergraduate program will launch as well, with a minor in bioengineering.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together so far,” Guldberg said. “And by ‘we’ I mean our faculty, both those in the Knight campus as well as affiliated faculty across the U of O, our talented students, and incredibly dedicated staff.”

The new campus and programs focus on bioengineering and applied scientific research, and this second gift will fund a second building and faculty for the programs. 

Phil Knight is an alumnus of UO and the co-founder of Nike. He has made multiple donations to UO, including funding renovations for Hayward Field, the location of the 2021 Olympic Trials.


Jen is an intern for KLCC, through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. This is her first radio news job. She is Oregon-born and raised and loves writing, reading and recording. Her favorite things to write about are community and social justice issues, LGBTQIA+ news and history, and cultural deep-dives.