Oregon Health & Science University has raised $86 million so far from donors in its quest to fulfill a $1 billion challenge from Nike founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny for cancer research.
More than 3,700 donations and pledges poured in from individuals, businesses and organizations in 47 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada. Donations include 20 gifts of $1 million or more.
OHSU is now more than halfway to its goal of raising $500 million in matching funds, after the Oregon Legislature l ate last week agreed to issue $198 million in bonds, once the university raises the remaining $302 million in matching funds.
The Knights have pledged $500 million if the university can raise an equal sum by Feb. 4, 2016. With the $86 million in donations, that leaves $216 million yet to raise.
“We’re feeling very confident, particularly with so many people stepping up and the state stepping up,” said Dr. Brian Druker, director of OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute. “We feel we have an enormous amount of momentum.”
The Knight Cancer Challenge is expected to vastly expand OHSU cancer research, including construction of a new building to house clinical trials and attracting top cancer researchers.
Druker said the progress on the fundraising front allows planning for facilities and recruiting to move forward.
“It gives us the comfort so we can get started now,” Druker said.