A center for design and innovation will rise adjacent to the University of Portland engineering school on acreage formerly occupied by the physical plant. The aim is to create a point of inspiration for future innovators.

Darlene Marcos Shiley of San Diego, California, has given $10 million for the project. She is the widow of 1951 University of Portland alumnus Donald Shiley, an inventor for which the Shiley School of Engineering is named.

Construction of the Shiley-Marcos Center for Design and Innovation is expected to be finished by the end of November 2023.

Donald Shiley invented the first artificial tilting disc heart valve, tracheotomy tubes, endotracheal tubes and oxygenators. His work lengthened many lives.

Darlene Shiley’s philanthropy encompasses the arts, medical research, and education. She said the new center fits her vision for a creative space at U.P. where future inventors and innovators can find motivation, education and collaborative resources.

“This latest contribution to support the continuing development of the Shiley School of Engineering will secure ‘maker space’ for our students,” explained Darlene Shiley, who serves on the U.P. Board of Regents and received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 2018. “The talented future engineers will have the areas to develop their own ideas, contribute to those of others, and make a better future for all of us.”

The $40 million, four-story structure will feature 45,400 square feet of creative educational space. As a new venue, the building will be constructed to meet LEED Silver sustainability standards.

Darlene Shiley will convene U.P. leadership, students, construction partners, and special guests in a ceremonial groundbreaking later this fall.

“The center will enhance our ability to attract the best and brightest to the bluff and offer them an unparalleled education,” said Robert Kelly, president of the university. “It will further burnish the already sterling legacy of the ‘Shiley-Marcos’ name at U.P.”

The new center will be the home for collaboration and creativity at the University of Portland, said Brian Fabien, dean of the engineering school. “This facility will transform how we educate the next generation of computer scientists and engineers who will serve society. Here, students from engineering will work with students from arts, humanities, nursing, education, and business to realize innovative solutions to problems we face as a society.”

Opsis Architecture designed the new structure and Skanska USA will oversee construction.