Oregon Health & Science University has reached its $500 million fundraising goal for the school’s cancer research campaign.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, pledged in September 2013 to match the raised funds for a total of $1 billion for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.
“These last 22 months have shown what is possible when people of vision focus on a single goal,” said Knight in a statement. “We are more convinced than ever that cancer will meet its match at OHSU, and we are proud to play a role in this history in the making.”
OHSU says that more than 10,000 donors contributed, including Columbia’s “Tough Mother,” Gert Boyle who donated the largest gift from an individual — $100 million — to the campaign last summer. The largest gift came from the state of Oregon, which invested $200 million.
“This is an amazing accomplishment and a testament to the great science happening at OHSU.” said Gov. Kate Brown in a statement. “I’m proud of Oregonians for coming together to support the Knight Cancer Challenge. This bodes well for our state’s future, not just for cancer research and care, but also our ability to take on the big challenges of our time.”
The school will use the money to hire 25 researchers and an additional 225 to 275 scientists and physicians dedicated to early cancer detection.
Achieving the fundraising goal is touted as the largest documented challenge pledge to succeed, according to researchers at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.