University of Portland has received a gift of $2.2 million to create an endowed professorship in engineering, dedicated to undergraduate classroom instruction.
The donation comes in honor of Margaret and Vincent Aquino. It was established by the late Vincent Aquino, who graduated from University of Portland in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering. He established a bequest in honor of his parents, neither of whom attended college but were determined to help their children do so. Three of their four children graduated from University of Portland and the other from Marylhurst University.
The younger Vincent Aquino died in July and his estate has been handled by his brother Robert Aquino, who graduated from University of Portland in 1960 with a bachelor’s of science degree in physics. Robert currently serves on the University of Portland Engineering Advisory Council. Vincent was among the early members of the advisory group.
After graduating from UP, Vincent Aquino joined General Electric Nuclear at Hanford, Wash., where he worked for three years as an engineer. In 1962, he earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Cal Tech. He worked at Westinghouse Naval Reactor Facility and Argonne National Labs, both in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The rest of his career was spent at Argonne National Labs, where he rose to the Directorship of Quality Assurance.
Vincent earned an MBA from the University of Idaho in 1974. He then taught night school courses in management and also nuclear regulatory law. A longtime member of the Idaho Falls Catholic community, he served as Scoutmaster for a Boy Scouts troop for more than 30 years, among his many community service activities.
The faculty member who will receive the endowed professorship will be announced in May. The objective of the gift is to provide students a complete education that is ethically based and technically sound.

The gift is part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 and seeks to raise $175 million by 2014. The RISE Campaign, which has raised more than $163 million to date, is one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.