Vancouver woman donates 125 million to Oregon college prep school

first_imgA Vancouver resident and philanthropist donated $1.25 million to La Salle College Preparatory in Milwaukie, Ore.Elsie Franz Finley and her late brother, Robert W. Franz, grew up in Milwaukie and have supported Catholic ministries around the area. They’ve donated money to the University of Portland, leading to the construction of an academic building called Franz Hall. Their gifts to Providence Portland Medical Foundation led to the establishment of the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center where researchers specialize in immunotherapy.La Salle plans to spend $1 million on renovating the high school’s athletic facilities entrance to make the campus safer and more secure, a news release from the school said. The remaining money will establish the Father Saalfeld Endowment Fund.“The gift has a special sentimentality because it comes from Elsie Franz Finley, who served La Salle as the first woman trustee,” Denise Jones, president of La Salle, said in the news release. “It also honors two values that Father Saalfeld held dear: access to Catholic education for all students and the life lessons kids learn through sports.”Saalfeld, who died in 2007, got to know the Franz family while he was a pastor at Milwaukie’s St. John the Baptist Catholic Church until the early 1980s.Franz Finley decided to make the donation after she came across a letter Saalfeld had written to her and her brother 20 years ago, asking them to fund a new chapel for the school. She called La Salle to ask if there was a way she could honor Saalfeld at the school he loved.last_img read more