BEND, Ore. - The continued growth of Oregon State University-Cascades took a major step forward this week when the university and Deschutes Properties, LLC agreed on the sale of a building in Bend.

Bend business leader and resident Allan Bruckner made a commitment of $800,000 to OSU-Cascades to help the institution finalize its purchase of a building to house many of its graduate and research programs. The building, located at 650 S.W. Columbia St. in Bend, has a full purchase price of $3.88 million.

Bruckner's gift will complement $2 million in lottery bonds approved in June by the Oregon State Legislature, with the additional funds being provided by OSU-Cascades.

"This new building will allow us to move our graduate programs as early as spring term, and will accelerate the evolution of OSU-Cascades into a comprehensive university," said Becky Johnson, vice president for OSU-Cascades.

The rapidly growing campus has an enrollment this fall of approximately 750 junior, senior and graduate students - an increase of 10 percent in headcount, and 16 percent in FTE, over last fall.

A Bend, Ore., resident since 1970 and president of Cayuga Properties, Bruckner served as a Bend city commissioner in 1988 and was elected mayor in 1992.  He is an alumnus of Cornell University and the University of Oregon.

"Almost everyone agrees that the number one priority for a strong community is an educated populace," Bruckner said. "Bend has a fine public school system, a well-established and outstanding community college, and an emerging university that deserves and needs greater support."

Legislative support for the building stems from House Bill 3627, which was introduced by Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) and sponsored by Sen. Chris Telfer (R-Bend) and Reps. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver), Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) and John Huffman (R-The Dalles).

The sale marks OSU-Cascades' first building purchase; remodeling of the office space to incorporate classroom and learning spaces will begin shortly. The building will house OSU-Cascades administrative staff, its graduate teaching and counseling programs, and future programs such as the proposed Master in Public Health and Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.

"Allan Bruckner's generous gift illustrates increasing confidence in the campus' evolution into a comprehensive university and sets the stage for continued philanthropic support from the Central Oregon community," Johnson said.

The next step, OSU-Cascades administrators and Bruckner agree, is to continue the growth of the institution and develop support for degree programs, faculty endowments and student scholarships.

"We truly hope others will take note of this support and that it will be a catalyst for the community to concentrate efforts on nurturing development of OSU-Cascades," Bruckner said.

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