Three University of Portland alumni and one senior were honored this spring for living out the values of the 4,000-student Catholic institution in North Portland.
The Distinguished Alumni Award went to John Lee, a retired healthcare administrator who graduated in 1964 and earned a master's degree in 1973. Lee was a chief executive for Providence Health and Services in the region. He also volunteered for local charitable organizations and Catholic schools.
The Oddo Service Award went to Deacon Jack Roscoe, another 1964 graduate. Roscoe was an Air Force Cadet as a student and served during the Vietnam War. He became the university’s Air Force ROTC commander and was residence life director. He has also been active in charity and is a permanent deacon who visits jails.
The award for a recent alumni went to Holly Lynn Ellis, from the class of 2001. A theater student on campus, Ellis is a film producer who has taken a movie to the Sundance Film Festival. She is also an actress, video producer, soup kitchen volunteer, and cofounder and president of a women's education nonprofit.
Recognition to a senior, the Gerhardt Award, went to Noelle Niedo. Niedo has served in the student International Club, the International Student Services office, St. Andre Bessette Parish downtown, World Youth Day committee, a handbell choir and prayer group. She is also a volunteer in pediatric and physical therapy units at a local hospital. She plans to attend medical school and eventually return to her native Samoa as a doctor.
During the awards luncheon, attended by more than 300 people, UP president Holy Cross Father Bill Beauchamp gave an address on the state of the university. He reported on the high number of Fulbright Scholars emerging from the school and the lofty rankings for community service, Peace Corps volunteers and policies for campus environmental sustainability. "We are providing our students with the highest level of academic experience, and opportunities for character formation along with it," Father Beauchamp said.
The priest called the university's financial condition solid, noting a $100 million endowment. UP did not lay off staff during the recession. He did note that tuition has not risen as fast as costs of education. He announced plans for a new fitness center to replaced Howard Hall, built in the 1920s when the school had only 300 students.