A Bend couple has agreed to endow Oregon State University-Cascades Campus with $2 million from their estate to support academic degree programs.
The university Tuesday announced the gift from Carmen and Mike Cutting, calling it the largest in OSU-Cascades' history. When the endowment fund's income becomes available, its specific use will be up to the discretion of the vice president of the Bend campus.
“It's not very often you get gifts of this magnitude where it's allowed to be discretionary,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson.
Because the endowment is part of an estate, the university will receive the funds after the Cuttings pass away.
In an effort that is separate from the endowment, OSU-Cascades is raising $4 million to expand the campus into a four-year school. For that goal, the school has raised more than $2.9 million from 69 supporters.
The future endowment shows the investment people are willing to make in the school during a high-profile time for OSU-Cascades, officials said.
“We don't expect to see the proceeds of this for many years, but the act of giving us a gift this large hopefully will demonstrate to people the support and faith that OSU alums have in the branch campus,” Johnson said.
The Cuttings, both 69, were born and grew up in McMinnville, graduating from OSU in 1965. Before retiring, Mike Cutting co-founded Northwest Atlantic Partners, a real estate brokerage and advisory service for retailers. Carmen Cutting was an elementary school teacher, later working in real estate, retail shop ownership and doing volunteer work. In 2006, they made Bend their primary residence.
Mike Cutting on Monday said the momentum of the effort for an expanded Bend campus in the past year played a role in the couple's decision. Initially, they had planned a $2 million endowment for academics at OSU, but further tailored it for the Central Oregon campus after seeing the push toward a four-year school, he said.
“There was an opportunity to give to OSU and give to the community of Bend and Central Oregon,” he said.
They also have given a separate $2 million endowment for athletics at OSU.
Examples of ways the endowment fund could be used in the future include scholarships, startup costs for new degree programs or supporting research for faculty members.