University of Portland Names School of Engineering After Renowned Alumnus Donald P. Shiley '51, Announced $8 Million Gift

Dec 03, 2010, 21:07 ET from University of Portland

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- University of Portland's school of engineering will now be known as the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering in recognition of the late Donald Shiley, a 1951 graduate who was an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist and loving husband and father. Among his many groundbreaking inventions was the Bjork-Shiley heart valve, an innovative medical device that has been credited with saving more than a half million lives.

"The University of Portland's greatest strength has always been its extraordinary people," said University president Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C. "And among the most generous and visionary are the late Donald Shiley and his wife Darlene, whose generosity, creativity, and commitment have built a deeper, better education for our students for generations to come."

Donald and Darlene Shiley's generosity and commitment to the University of Portland has sparked a tremendous rise for the engineering program. In 2007, the Shileys made a lead gift of $12 million to renovate and expand Donald P. Shiley Hall – formerly known as Engineering Hall. The building was completely remodeled and nearly doubled in size. It is also one of only 25 university buildings nationwide to receive LEED platinum certification. In the last five years the engineering program has increased enrollment by 60% and UP student test scores for national engineering exams are among the top in the nation.

At a gala event on December 3, 2010, Mrs. Darlene Shiley publically announced her decision to award an additional $8 million gift bringing their total giving to the university to more than $20 million. The landmark $8 million gift will primarily fund engineering student scholarships, and faculty research and development. The gift also helps kick-off "RISE: A Campaign for the University of Portland," an ambitious comprehensive development effort that seeks to raise $175 million, the largest campaign ever for an Oregon private college or university.

"For all Donald's remarkable accomplishments professionally as an engineer, inventor and entrepreneur, it was the way he and Darlene inspired inventiveness and creativity among the young that will be his most lasting work," said Beauchamp. "Find and hone your gifts,' he said, and the way young people take those words to heart will change the world for the better."

Donald Shiley graduated from the University in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in engineering, after which he worked in Oregon with surgeon Dr. Albert Starr and inventor Lowell Edwards. He later started Shiley Laboratories, one of the first medical companies to invite its employees to be shareholders. He went on to invent the breakthrough technology of the tilting-disk heart valve, which revolutionized heart surgery in the 1970s – saving more than 500,000 lives – and became the foundation for numerous subsequent heart valves. He also invented other life-saving medical devices such as the Shiley tracheotomy tube. Mr. Shiley passed away on July 31, 2010, at age 90.

Darlene Shiley is president of the Shiley Foundation and a renowned patron of the arts, medical research and education. A resident of San Diego, Shiley's philanthropy has benefitted countless institutions, including the Old Globe Theater, the University of California San Diego's Shiley Eye Center and Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, the University of San Diego, the Scripps Clinic, the Salk Institute, and KPBS public radio and television. She recently completed her tenure as chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of San Diego, like University of Portland, a Catholic institution of higher education.

The Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering has 579 students currently enrolled, an increase of 60 percent in the past five years. It offers bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and engineering management, while also offering a demanding and dynamic master's degree in engineering. All of the programs offered through the Shiley School of Engineering have ABET accreditation (the highest designation).

The Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering is ranked not only among the best in the Northwest but is also listed among the top 40 national engineering schools, translating into well-prepared graduates. Last year, 97 percent of UP engineering graduates who took the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination scored passing rates, scores that are well above the national average of 77 percent.

Donald P. Shiley Hall facilities are state-of-the-art. The recent renovation and expansion added 28,000 square feet of new laboratories, classrooms, study areas, and offices. Labs support every program – from electronics and automated manufacturing to thermodynamics and computer vision. Students have plenty of space for project research, construction, and materials testing. Shiley Hall is acknowledged as a national model of sustainable engineering and is one of only 25 buildings on college campuses nationwide and one of 313 buildings worldwide to receive LEED platinum certification, the highest possible rating, by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition, Shiley Hall earned a BEST Award from the City of Portland, winning in the category of "Green Building." The building also received a Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon for innovations with its mechanical and electrical systems, and earned an Illumination Award of Merit from Illuminating Engineering Society for its innovative and energy-saving lighting design. Shiley Hall incorporates many sustainable features, including: energy efficient windows, lighting, heating and cooling; reuse of materials; use of recycled materials and sustainably harvested wood; efficient water fixtures; and sustainable storm water management. It provides for effective use of facilities, efficient movement of people, and allows extensive daylight.

SOURCE University of Portland