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PCC hires executive director to lead foundation

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Long-time Portland resident Rick Zurow has been tapped to serve as executive director for the Portland Community College Foundation.

And when asked why he took this job, rather than refer to some famed academician, Zurow turned to Dorothy Parker for a witty response. “The two most beautiful words in the English language,” he quoted with a wry smile, “are ‘check enclosed.’”

The foundation was created in 1982 as an independent charitable organization that mobilizes private support for student scholarships and PCC’s educational programs. The foundation manages an estimated 300 named funds and endowments created from private contributions, events, bequests and grants.

Zurow, 49, hails from southwest Portland. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in special education from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and went on to gain a master’s in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

He previously served as executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Kansas City, Kan., from 1989 through 1993, then moved to Oregon to be executive director of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation. In 2002, he left that position to become a development consultant in the Portland and San Francisco Bay areas, working on projects with the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater East Bay in Oakland, Calif., and the school of public health at the University of California at Berkeley.

He started at PCC in June.

“I like to remind people that, in giving, it’s best to give thought,” Zurow said. “There’s a saying, that with thoughtful giving, even small sums may accomplish great purposes.”

Peter Bauer, president of the foundation’s board of trustees, said he is pleased about the addition of Zurow to the team.

“We are beginning our twenty- fifth year of service to the college. Thefoundationhas a number of aggressive growth plans inthe works,” Bauer said. “The timing couldn’t be better to have someone with Rick’s experience and enthusiasm for the job to join us. All of us on the board arelooking forward to working with him.”

As executive director of the PCC Foundation, Zurow works directly with Institutional Advancement, alongside the departments of marketing and public affairs.

The foundation is led by a volunteer board of trustees representing a wide array of business and community interests.

Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 88,200 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at PCC has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »