Grants and private donations are key to giving students hands-on experiences in science and researchJenni Luckett | Editor
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has provided nearly $1 million to Pacific University over the past several years to support the undergraduate summer science and research program. Today, Pacific seeks private support to build an endowment to continue support for this program once the trust funding concludes.
The trust, created through the will of the late Jack Murdock, co-founder of Tektronix Inc., helped Pacific ramp up its undergraduate research opportunities, and, in 2009, the university was invited to join the College Science Research Program, which provided additional support to expand summer research opportunities for students and faculty.
Now that the program is well underway, Murdock has challenged the university to create a self-sustaining summer research program. Pacific University will seek to secure at least $300,000 per year toward an endowment for summer research.
“Without this endowment, it would be impossible to keep this program going at current levels,” said James Butler, director of undergraduate research and physics professor. “We already have more than twice as many students applying to participate in the program than we are currently able to accept.
“This is a great opportunity for alumni, parents and friends to invest in a program that is absolutely transformative to our students.”
Some dedicated funds are already in place to support undergraduate research and scholarship in the School of Natural Sciences, and additional gifts to these funds will help in the goal of creating a permanent funding stream in support of the sciences at Pacific University.
Summer Research Endowed Fund for Natural Sciences
The fund provides ongoing financial support for the summer research program, including equipment, stipends, materials, travel and publication costs, and hardware and software updates.
Griffith, Fehrs and Brosing Summer Physics Research Endowed Fund
Established in 2013 by Physics Professor Emeritus W. Thomas Griffith (pictured), the fund will provide ongoing financial support for the Physics Department to conduct summer research opportunities.
Currie Chemistry Endowed Fund
Established in 2008 by Chemistry Professor Emeritus Jim Currie, and supported by many of his former students and friends, the fund provides support to enable Pacific University chemistry students to travel and present papers at regional and national conferences, to provide stipends for visiting chemistry lecturers, and to enable the Chemistry Department to periodically host symposiums.
Dr. Harold Schimke Endowed Scholarship Fund
Established in 2007 by the children of late Professor Harold Schimke and his wife Martha, as well as his students and friends, the fund provides ongoing scholarships for chemistry majors who aspire to become teachers.
To learn more about contributing to an existing fund or establishing your own endowed, annual or current use fund, please contact Associate Vice President of Development Jan Stricklin at