CHRISTINE AND DAVID VERNIER
2020 Vollum Award for Lifetime Philanthropic Achievement
David and Christine Vernier “walk the talk,” embodying the values the Vollum Award for Lifetime Achievement seeks to spotlight. For decades, this humble couple has tirelessly committed themselves to serving the community and bettering the lives of those around them. They are generous with their time, talent and treasure and without them, people of the Pacific Northwest, especially children and young people, would not have the educational opportunities they have had.
The couple’s philanthropy has made a profound impact on many institutions: Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette, Artists Repertory Theater, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon Impact Fund and The Nature Conservancy of Oregon.
Their company, Vernier Software & Technology, helps science educators in more than 150 countries engage students through high-tech teaching tools. During the present COVID-19 crisis, the company has made free STEM learning resources available for home use.
“Without a doubt, they have been essential to advancing educational access, unleashing powerful learning opportunities, and sparking joy and curiosity in classrooms near and far,” stated Bill Boldt & Sarah Schwarz, leaders of PSU Foundation.
Their support of diversity and inclusion, particularly in the area of science and innovation, is deeply rooted in their backgrounds of education and social work. The Vernier Program for Mentoring and Diversity in Science at Oregon State University is building leadership in science among students from underrepresented populations, including those who are from the first generation in their families to attend college.
“Christine and David are deeply invested in promoting fun, hands-on science learning because they understand the critical role that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education plays in helping kids get good jobs and solve problems to improve the world,” Nancy Steuber, President and CEO of OMSI.
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