An Irresistible Match

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Philanthropy is a deeply personal act. For some, their passion for giving—and inspiring others to give—comes from feeling its power directly.

“I would never have received the education I did had it not been for scholarships,” says Michael Schill, who joins the University of Oregon this month as its 18th president. “My parents, neither of whom went to college, had very modest incomes. They are wonderful parents, but they didn’t have the resources to send me to a great institution.”

A first-generation college student, President Schill credits generous scholarships for making his education at Princeton University possible. That experience inspires him to fundraise in support of affordability and access for Oregonians.

“I was the beneficiary of a liberal arts education that opened up my world, made me a better human being and a better citizen,” Schill says. “I was very fortunate that Princeton accepted me and awarded me scholarships, which were incredibly generous. We must do whatever we can to enhance access, to make it possible for the people of the state of Oregon with modest incomes to be able to come here, and be supported while they are here.”

Schill comes to the UO from the University of Chicago, where, as dean of the law school, he more than quadrupled gifts received by the law school. He will now put his skills to work on the UO’s unprecedented $2 billion dollar campaign goal.

“I love fundraising,” Schill says. “It is wonderful to play matchmaker between people with a love for the institution and a school which has needs. My goal as president is to find what makes people passionate about Oregon and then try to put something in front of them that they will find irresistible. We are a great institution of higher education, and we can be even better. I’m looking forward to a partnership with our generous supporters to make that happen.”