Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle and his wife, Mary, have given a $5 million gift to the University of Oregon to help the university turn its New Venture Championship (NVC) student business plan competition into the world's first with an Asian focus and to help launch Oregon's first comprehensive product design initiative. Boyle graduated from the university in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
From the funds, the NVC will receive $3.5 million to be divided between the Lundquist College of Business, which runs the competition, and the School of Journalism and Communication, whose students market the annual contest. The remaining $1.5 million will go to the School of Architecture and Allied Arts to plan and implement a proposed multi-disciplinary program in product design and material studies.
The money will aid Lundquist College in its goal of attracting at least half the entrants in the New Venture Championship from Asian countries. University officials say this will further the Lundquist College's Engaging China Initiative and the university's East Asia Initiative -- both aimed at increasing students' cultural literacy, boosting student and faculty exchange programs, and developing the university as a key resource on East Asia for Oregon businesses, government officials and cultural organizations.
Additionally, the Boyles' gift will help the NVC update its advertising and public relations curriculums, as well as support the school's continued participation in the NVC.
The proposed new product design initiative in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts will combine courses in humanities, business, art and architecture with specific coursework in product design. The program will be a collaboration of the school's department of art and interior architecture programs.
The money from the Boyles will be counted toward Campaign Oregon: Transforming Lives, the university's effort to raise $600 million for student and faculty support, academic programs and new and renovated facilities. Tim Boyle is vice chair of Campaign Oregon.