Jim Kuffner
Jim Kuffner

Jim Kuffner may be the only member of Holy Cross Parish to have a body of water named for him.

Kuffner, who has been a University of Portland administrator since 1985, has lately shepherded the North Portland Catholic college’s efforts to purchase and develop a parcel along the Willamette River. In his honor, an inlet on the property has been named Kuffner Cove. Eventually, the spot will include a dock where the university’s rowing teams will embark and disembark.

“It’s both humbling and inspiring at the same time,” said Kuffner, who dreams of getting over the many regulatory hurdles to get the riverfront acreage, now called the Franz Campus, in shape. He led the purchase of the site in 2008.

The cove also will be the home of a salmon refuge overseen by U.P.’s environmental sciences department.

“Jim played an instrumental role in the acquisition and development of the Franz Campus and has been the connection between vision and implementation that allowed the river campus to go forward,” said Holy Cross Father Mark Poorman, president of the university. The priest lauded Kuffner’s “leadership, service and perseverance.” 

Kuffner’s family has also established two endowments to honor Jim and his wife Kathy’s longtime dedication to U.P. One fund will support Franz Campus beautification projects like landscaping, benches, lighting, and other amenities. The other will support the chapel choir.