PORTLAND, Ore. -- Bill Gates, Sr., co-chair of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will be the keynote speaker for the ARCS Foundation Portland Chapter's 2010 Scholar Awards Luncheon Oct. 19 at the Portland Art Museum.

Gates will speak on "Making a Difference: The Value of Philanthropy in Education," particularly fitting as the Portland Chapter of ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) will cross the $1-million mark for awards to graduate students in science and engineering at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University this year.

"Gates has been a long-time supporter of ARCS both in Seattle and nationally," said Caron Ogg, president of the Portland Chapter of ARCS . "In fact, it was a grant from the Gates Foundation that helped to launch the Portland Chapter six years ago."

Also speaking will be Clayton Winkler, an ARCS Scholar and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Neuroscience at OHSU, who will discuss his research on treating progressive neurological disease with a simple sugar.

At the Oct. 19 luncheon, 10 new ARCS Scholar Awards will be given to OHSU students and five to OSU students.  These scholars join 77 outstanding men and women ARCS scholars, collectively, currently studying at both institutions.

"The ARCS Foundation's engagement with OSU and support of our students has been both gratifying and of great benefit to some very worthy young scholars ," said Edward J. Ray, president of Oregon State University. "We are proud to be partners with the Portland Chapter and, along with OHSU, to be beneficiaries of the chapter's vision and generosity in advancing scientific education and innovation."

The ARCS Foundation was established in 1958 in Los Angeles by a group of women committed to keeping American technologically strong and internationally competitive. There currently are 17 ARCS chapters nationwide - all dedicated to advancing science in America through the provision of financial support to outstanding U.S. citizens completing graduate degrees in natural science, medicine and engineering.

For further information about the ARCS Foundation Portland Chapter or the October 19 luncheon, call (503) 297-8603 or email Portland@arcsfoundation.org.

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.