PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland State University thought they were going to get a huge infusion of strings-free cash this week, but it wasn’t to be.
A private donor and former student who wished to remain anonymous said he wanted to donate $100 million dollars to his beloved school. After discussions a date of August 18th was set to announce the gift. Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown and Mayor Charlies Hales were both set to attend. But, when the funds were still not in place by Monday the school called it off.
On Friday, the name of the donor John Fitzpatrick became public in a release from PSU Associate Vice President Chris Broderick:
“The Portland State University Foundation, which raises private donations for the university, was contacted earlier this month by a prospective donor about a potential large gift to PSU that he wished to announce on August 18.
That individual, who initially requested to remain anonymous, contacted the media Friday and identified himself as John Fitzpatrick. To date, Mr. Fitzpatrick has not given any gift to PSU.
It is important to note that PSU never announced a gift from Mr. Fitzpatrick. We made preparations for an August 18 announcement in the event the gift was received.
On Monday, August 17, as more information came to light and no money was received, PSU canceled the planned announcement and notified the governor, the mayor and The Oregonian. In retrospect, PSU should have taken more time to review his offer. We are assessing our internal procedures to ensure this remains a one-time occurrence.”
The $100 million gift would have been the largest in school history.
But, entrepreneur Fitzpatrick and the school seem to be on different pages on how things transpired. In a brief sit-down interview with our News Partner KGW Friday, Fitzpatrick said he still had every intention of donating the money. In fact, he says he plans on also adding a $500 million dollar dollar-for-dollar matching gift. He says he was the one who called PSU to call off the announcement so that he can make an even bigger one. Fitzpatrick told KGW he still plans to donate millions to the school before the end of the month.