Giving to Our Students 

The Division of Student Life is dedicated to enhancing the student experience every day and we have four goals to support that committment to our Ducks.

First is Student Support. We want to increase the scholarships for students through scholarship and internship opportunities. Second, we want to expand our Program Support and continue to promote healthy behaviors as well as leaadership and service learning opportunties. Third, our students are learning more and more each day with our Faculty Support initiatives. And finally, provide the Capital Project Support needed to secure our building infastructure and design spaces that support our students today and in the future.

We have big goals and believe in the institutional commitment to provide a world-class education and become one of the preeminent research institutions, not just in the United States, but anywhere.

Creating a foundation for student success.

Student Impact

Aternative Breaks Program
Alternative Breaks provide community engagment and experiential learning opportunitues. Students travel and explore unique cultures and social issues while serving and learning about leadership. 
Academic Residential Communities
Academic Residential Communities provide students with the opportunity to integrate their living experience with the concepts they are studying in the classroom. Students live together for a full academic year with the opportunity to learn about a topic from faculty and their peers. 
Prevention Efforts
We want students to know how to be a part of a healthy community that cares deeply about each member. We want them to make healthy choices and take care of each other—and sometimes it just comes better hearing it from their peers.

Donor Spotlight

Corrigan Solari

Her Flock of Ducks

Mary Corrigan Solari, BS ’46, celebrated with recipients of the Mary Corrigan and Richard Solari Scholarship in the Cheryl Ramberg Ford and Allyn Ford Alumni Center this October. In 2012, her  $5 million gift established the scholarship for two incoming classes of freshman middle class students. More than 200 students at UO currently receive 4 year renewable Solari Scholarships, and the first cohort of  Solari Scholars is slated to graduate this spring. Several of this first group have already graduated, completing their education at UO in less than 4 years.

“I wanted to help Oregonians caught in the middle,” Corrigan Solari said in a 2011 article about the gift. “I have been acutely aware of the many middle class parents who have been struggling to finance their children’s education. In order to help alleviate the situation, I wanted to establish scholarships for graduates of Oregon high schools so they can attend the University of Oregon. A college degree means a better future for them.”

Read 2011 article about Solari scholarships.


Gift from Duck patrons boosts EMU renovation

Dave Petrone received the UO's Pioneer Award in 2012.

What’s going to happen to the Fishbowl? That’s the most common question alumni ask when they see the construction happening at the UO’s Erb Memorial Union.

Fortunately, this campus icon was never slated for demolition. A recent $1 million gift from Nancy and Dave Petrone will restore the historic space and help with the university’s renovation and expansion of the EMU.

Slated for completion in 2016, the project will add much needed space. The last major addition to the EMU was completed in 1973. Since then, the UO’s student population has grown from approximately 16,000 to more than 24,000.The new EMU will feature expanded food and retail spaces, a pub and a three-story atrium.

A significant portion of the project cost is being funded by student fees, which led the Petrones to lend their support.

“Today’s students are vital contributors to this project,” Dave Petrone said. “They are paying it forward, and creating something special for future generations of Ducks.”

“We’re deeply grateful to Nancy and Dave for this generous contribution to what many consider as the heart of campus,” said Robin Holmes, vice president for student life. “The EMU is a major part of the UO experience, and the Petrone family is helping to ensure that it continues to be a hub of student activities for years to come.”

“During my days it was where everyone hung out, and it’s a very important part of my memories of being a student,” said Petrone, ‘66, MBA ‘68. “But it’s more than just a building. That’s something that Robin and other leaders were so clear and convincing about. It’s the impact it will make on students’ lives, how it will leave them enriched by having experiences there. That’s what’s important.”

The Petrones’ impact spans the entire UO campus with financial gifts touching almost every area of the university. Since the early 1990s, they have contributed exceptional volunteer leadership and one-on-one support to hundreds of students, professors, deans, fundraisers and administrators. Dave Petrone was honored with the UO Presidential Medal in 1999 and the Pioneer Award in 2012.

“Supporters like Dave and Nancy are, in many ways, the backbone of major initiatives at this great university,” said Michael Andreasen, vice president for university advancement. “Their actions and dedication to the University of Oregon really define what it means to be a Duck.”

For more information on the project, visit

Willie and Don

A New Home for Student Success

Thanks to a $10 million lead gift by Eugene philanthropists Willie and Don Tykeson, a 1951 University of Oregon graduate, the biggest academic unit within the UO is a major step closer to having a home of its own.

The new College and Careers Building is being planned to house the College of Arts and Sciences, which comprises 49 undergraduate programs and confers almost 60 percent of all UO degrees yet has no primary location.

The UO plans for the facility to be a state-of-the-art hub for classrooms, offices, and collaborative spaces where students can work closely with faculty members in seminar and honors settings.

It will also provide a new home for the UO Career Center, merging core academic activities with career advising.

The re-envisioned Career Center will help students prepare for careers and lives by facilitating access to employers, recruiters, and professional networks for work and graduate school opportunities, said Robin Holmes, vice president for student life.

“This new approach will enhance the Career Center’s mission to help students develop long-term career goals and strategies, and will provide Oregon employers a place to access Oregon talent,” said Holmes.

Currently estimated to cost $34 million, the 50,000 square foot structure is envisioned for the center of campus, providing much needed classroom space in the campus core and easy access to students seeking career planning.

For the Tykesons, this potent combination presented an opportunity give back at a time of high need.

“Willie and I are pleased to be a part of it and to have made the lead gift, which makes it feasible to move ahead,” said Don Tykeson, in announcing the gift. “You need the support and help from alumni to make it happen. I think it’s important for each of us to step up to the plate and help accomplish that for those who follow us.”

For more than 20 years the Tykesons have been committed to improving the UO experience for students and faculty as donors, advocates, leaders, and volunteers.

They established an endowment for innovative undergraduate teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences and a named professorship in the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, and have supported construction projects, scholarships, athletics, and the arts. Don currently serves as a trustee emeritus of the UO Foundation board and on the Lundquist College of Business Board of Advisors. For their service, he and Willie received the UO Presidential Medal in 1997 and the Pioneer Award in 2001.

“Don and Willie, thank you for your continued generosity,” said Interim President Scott Coltrane. “Your gift will create an incredible opportunity to enhance student recruitment, retention, and career success after graduation. This is critical to our overall mission.”

Coltrane said the UO will now take the project to the state 2015 legislative session and seek public financing for up to half the cost.

“We are hopeful the legislature and the governor will approve state bonds to help leverage this extremely generous private investment for the benefit of our students,” he said.

W. Andrew Marcus, the Interim Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, deeply appreciates the family’s continued commitment to academics.

“Even more important than the expanded space and specialized facilities in a central location, the building will be a center for student success,” said Marcus. “It will be a place—a home—that creates a sense of belonging for our student scholars and faculty.”

Currently, the college’s department offices and operations are dispersed across more than 50 buildings on and off campus.

The new building will house central advising and administration functions for the dean's office and college programs. Examples are College Scholars, General Social Sciences, and Environmental Studies, which together serve more than 1,300 students each year.

During his own college days, Don Tykeson finished his business degree requirements early, which allowed him take a wide range of arts and science classes.

“I think it’s a foundation for life,” he explains. “You’re on this planet to enjoy, contribute, make a difference, lead a fulfilling life, and have fun along the way, and I think a liberal arts education helps equip you very well for that.”

Contact our Development Team


We have a team of professionals that work every day to make sure the student experience is expectional. 

None of that would be possible without gifts of time and funding for our Ducks. Our team would love to share some giving opportunities and partner with you to continue to provide access, expand excellence, and support student success.

Partnering together for Ducks.

Kris Winter
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students