The University of Portland addresses significant questions of human concern through studies of the arts, sciences, and humanities and through studies in professional programs. We pursue teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership in the classroom, dorms, and the world.
The University of Portland was founded in September 1901 by Portland Archbishop Alexander Christie, who had purchased property atop Wauds Bluff with financial assistance from the Congregation of Holy Cross in South Bend, Indiana. Archbishop Christie named the school Columbia University after the mighty river that flowed nearby, and when it opened its doors, it was staffed with priests from the archdiocese.
Columbia University achieved junior college status in 1922, and in 1925 the College of Arts and Sciences was founded. Four years later the first bachelors degrees were awarded to a class of seven men. In the 1930s, the Universitys name was changed to the University of Portland, the St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing became part of the University as the College of Nursing, and the School of Business were created. In 1948, the School of Engineering was created. The University established its Graduate School in 1950 and the School of Education in 1962. In 1967 the Congregation of Holy Cross and the Universitys Board of Regents transitioned to a shared governance structure. Today, the University continues to be guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross and governed by an independent board of directors.