Jordan D. Schnitzer at the groundbreaking ceremony of JSMA PSU

Groundbreaking of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU

In Art by Caitlin Pihl


PSU marks the beginning of Neuberger Hall renovation with groundbreaking ceremony

March 30, 2018 — Portland State supporters, faculty and staff gathered today to officially kick off the renovation of Neuberger Hall, a landmark PSU building that will serve as an interdisciplinary hub for student services and academics when it opens in fall of 2019.

The new facility at the heart of campus will house admissions, financial aid and advising services as well as classrooms, studios, a new university art museum, and laboratories serving many academic programs, including the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics + Statistics.

The renovation project was made possible by $60 million in public bonds approved by the Oregon Legislature, the largest such capital investment in Portland State’s history. The public funds were augmented by major private contributions from alumnus Fairborz Maseeh, from businessman and philanthropist Jordan Schnitzer, and from an anonymous donor.

“Groundbreaking multidisciplinary work will take place here,” said Fariborz Maseeh, a pioneer in micro-electro-mechanical systems whose gift will also enhance PSU programs in math, computational science, business analytics and biomedical engineering. “When multiple disciplines intersect in a facility like this, discoveries and new opportunities emerge.”

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will occupy 7,500 square feet over two floors in the new building and offer free and accessible art experiences to students and the public. It will feature art by Portland and Northwest artists, faculty and students and exhibitions by national and international artists.

“This museum brings art to everyone at the university,” said Jordan Schnitzer. “My dream is that everyone at Portland State makes visiting the museum part of their campus experience.”

Though the $70 million renovation began in January of this year, today’s ceremony offered a chance to officially acknowledge and celebrate a groundbreaking moment for Portland State.

“Every student journey starts on these steps,” said PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi. “Thanks to extraordinary public and private investment, this essential facility will become the high-impact, space that our university, faculty, students and city deserve.”

“Today we recognize the critical role that Portland State plays in strengthening the fabric of our city,” said Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson. “PSU provides opportunities for every student to learn in a welcoming environment and to achieve a degree that will change their life.”

“I am proud to have Portland State University in my district, and to acknowledge Oregon’s public investment in this facility,” echoed Oregon Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick. “This renovation will give PSU the modern classrooms required to best equip a well-prepared workforce. Together we are investing in our state’s vitality and in communities throughout Oregon.”

Key administrative occupants of the building include the Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Services & Scholarships, and Advising and Career Services. Key academic occupants include Art & Design Studios, English, Ooligan Pres, Philosophy, World Languages and Literatures, and the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics + Statistics.

The project was designed by Hacker Architects and will be built by Fortis Construction. The comprehensive modernization includes seismic stability and accessibility.

Once complete, the Jordan Schnitzer Muesum of Art at PSU will be the third university museum bearing the Schnitzer name. The other two are located at University of Oregon and Washington State University.


Additional information on the renovation of Neuberger Hall, including renderings and architectural details, and photos from the event, can be found here.


About Portland State University (PSU)

As Oregon’s only urban public research university, Portland State offers tremendous opportunity to 27,000 students from all backgrounds. Our mission to “Let Knowledge Serve the City” reflects our dedication to finding creative, sustainable solutions to local and global problems. Our location in the heart of Portland, one of America’s most dynamic cities, gives our students unmatched access to career connections and an internationally acclaimed culture scene. “U.S. News & World Report” ranks us among the nation’s top 10 most innovative universities.

About Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation:

At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into his lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 12,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections overall. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions and has organized over 100 exhibitions at more than 100 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, with 25 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit