Mayor Sam Adams and Governor Ted Kulongoski have been at a big hoo-ha press conference at PSU this morning to announce the gift of $3.9million to the university's Computational Sciences Program, by PSU alumni Fariborz Maseeh.
"This is the beginning of a great journey for all of us," said the Governor. "It's a great day to recognize not only the program, but a time to recognize someone who's a product of the program."
"Thanks to you, the nation's best urban university just got better," said Mayor Adams. "Folks, the world has not yet totally figured out climate change, and we want this city to be the hub of clean technology. This program now gets PSU to sit up there with peer programs at places like MIT. It's the perfect place, the perfect university, and the perfect issue in which to invest."
Maseeh, who was born in Iran, got his BS in structural engineering and MS in mathematics from PSU. He got a doctorate from MIT, then founded and later sold a company making computer chips for use in pacemakers and airplanes. Dude is loaded. For reals.
Ironically this morning, Oregonian reporter Ryan Frank broke a separate story that the city could potentially lose up to $2million of taxpayer money invested in a scrapped parking garage on the South Waterfront—which would also have incorporated the neighborhood's first affordable housing project. It's a story worth reading—PDC will vote on the deal on Wednesday.
Still, as a whole, the city is up almost $2million before lunch. Never mind levies or issuing bonds, we couldn't have done much better if we'd bet a big chunk of the city's affordable housing budget on red in Vegas.
After the press conference, I asked Mayor Adams if he was pleased with the day's take so far.
"I always want more," he said.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!