The University of Oregon has announced two gifts totaling $6.5 million from Business Wire CEO Lorry Lokey to help extend its journalism program to Portland and to renovate its music building on the main campus in Eugene.
Lokey designated $4.5 million for the university's School of Journalism and Communication George S. Turnbull Portland Center, slated to open in 2005, with degree programs offered by fall 2006, possibly including a master's program in management communications for working professionals and a "senior experience" combining senior-level coursework with internships in public relations for the school's undergraduate and professional master's programs.
Lokey earmarked $2 million of his gift for the UO music building, which will be named in memory of MarAbel Frohnmayer, who died in 2003 at age 94. A 1931 graduate of the school and mother of university president Dave Frohnmayer, she was instrumental in the founding and continuation of major arts organization in the Medford, Oregon, area from the 1930s to the 1990s. Lokey also gave $2 million for the music building in January, bringing his total giving to UO to $8.5 million.
Giving money to education has always been a high priority for Lokey, but a 1996 heart attack accelerated his philanthropy to the point where he now gives away 80 percent of his income, he said. "To me, no matter what else affects your life, the single most important thing is education," he said. "Without it, I would probably be driving a truck or selling wares in a store somewhere."