Portland Community College

PCC Foundation Portland Community College Foundation

Saluting our Veterans with legacy gifts of support

Support of student veterans at Portland Community College comes in many forms, including philanthropy. The PCC Foundation is proud to celebrate the commitment of some very special donors, and the decisions that they have made to provide legacy gifts that support scholarships for student vets and their dependents at PCC.

Deb PetersonDeb Peterson

The choice was clear for Deb Peterson, naval veteran and PCC alumna, when she thought about where she wanted to leave her legacy gift. PCC had a special place in her heart.

Deb was serving as a US Navy ship surveyor in the Seabees when she met her husband, Joe Espinosa. Upon leaving the service, the pair (affectionately known as Pete and Espo) came to Portland and both found themselves as students at PCC.

Tragically, Joe died at the young age of 31. One of his last acts was driving around the Sylvania campus, a place that brought him peace.

Deb made the decision to name Portland Community College Foundation as the beneficiary to her retirement account and life insurance policy in her late husband’s honor. This very simple method of establishing a significant and impactful gift created the Pete and Espo Scholarship for military veteran students.

SY Veterans Resource Center with Deb Peterson

Recently, Deb had the opportunity to visit the Sylvania campus to talk with some of the student vets and staff in the Veterans Resource Center (VRC). They shared stories of their service, their experiences at PCC, and the crucial role that the VRC plays in supporting their journeys at PCC.

In addition to honoring and supporting our veterans, PCC has Veterans Resource Centers on all campuses, building a community for the student veteran population. The centers welcome all vets and their family members, friends, and anyone who wants to know more about veterans on campus.

“You guys have a great team, and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we depended on,” said Deb. “There wasn’t anything like the VRC when I was here and what an invaluable resource it is. I am so happy to be able to offer support to student vets.”

Michael Trigoboff and Patricia Leonard

Michael Trigoboff and Patricia Leonard

You don’t have to be a military veteran to support our student veterans, though.

Michael Trigoboff, PCC faculty, and his wife, Patricia Leonard, PCC volunteer and retired counselor from the Veterans Affairs, have both left an impactful bequest to the PCC Foundation in their estate.

After 9/11, Michael saw people paying for meals for people in military uniforms, and he thought to himself, “What can I do that’s more substantial than just saying thank you for your service? And thinking in that way led me to think of doing this.” With a bequest to PCC in his will, he will establish a scholarship in support of student veterans and their dependents. It’s his way of thanking these students for their service to their country.

Pat has also left a significant bequest to the PCC General Scholarship fund. “We both really value education and we wouldn’t be where we are if not for our educations. That’s why we are leaving a legacy to an institute that promotes education,” she said.

To learn more about supporting PCC’s veteran students through philanthropy, contact the PCC Foundation at 971-722-4382 or pccfoundation@pcc.edu.