"My UO business school experience has not only shaped my career, it’s shaped my entire life," said Mark Edlen '75, MBA '76.
As CEO and cofounder, along with Robert Gerding, of Gerding Edlen, a sustainable properties developer, Edlen has seen his company complete more than sixty green projects ($5 billion in real estate) throughout the western United States. Recently, they have expanded with projects in Boston and Chicago.
The firm is committed to attaining net-zero energy use in the next three years and is guided by a set of principles, The Principles of Place, that focus on creating vibrant and sustainable communities fully integrated with educational institutions, business, government, and the arts.
Edlen's work exemplifies the University of Oregon mission to question critically, think logically, communicate clearly, act creatively, and live ethically. This creative and innovative approach has led the University of Oregon Alumni Association to choose him as recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2012.
Edlen credits his UO business school experience with teaching him the value of critical thinking and problem solving, as well as creating value for others and maximizing opportunities--all while striving to "leave your community a better place than you found it," he said.
The University of Oregon also offered and continues to offer students a unique balance between academia and the natural environment that all of us in Oregon enjoy and treasure, Edlen added.
Being a member of the first generation of his family to attend college awarded Edlen an acute appreciation of the value of affordable, high-quality education for young Oregonians.
That’s why he and his wife Ann established the Mark and Ann Edlen Scholarship Endowment Fund to support Lundquist College students.
"We both believe in the value of an affordable education, and we are delighted to be able to assist in providing others with the same opportunities that we enjoyed. After all, investing in today’s students is our greatest hope for a better tomorrow."