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Henry E. Portin Memorial Scholarship

Annual Award Amount:


Number of Awards:

1 Award

Division or Major Area of Study:



Must be an upper-classman majoring in communications.


Henry E. Portin was a multi-talented man with many cutting-edge careers.

In his illustrious career that spanned almost five decades, Henry was involved in radio, was one of the first television cameramen in Seattle, a film producer and writer. He was also an inventor of Rubaturf, a product made from re-cycled tires, a consultant in political advertising and public relations.

In 1961, Mr. Portin started his own company, Henry Portin Enterprises, a motion picture film business in Seattle where he produced and wrote over 25 feature films. He produced many significant mission outreach films such as the “Cry of Calcutta” which was instrumental in raising money for a 100-bed hospital in Calcutta for Missionary Mark Buntain.

Mr. Portin had a heart for Northwest University. He was the longest serving member of the University Board of Directors. Her served 35 years on the Board. He served as secretary for the last 20 years.

Mr. Portin died of a stroke at the age of 81. During his tenure, college enrollment grew from about 200 to nearly 1,000 at the time of his death.

“He was very much involved in the promotion of the University,” said Paul Goodman, a board member who has served on the board with Mr. Portin since 1976. “He was also helpful in developing the campus. He wanted it done in an organized way.

Dr. D.V. Hurst, former Northwest University president, described Mr. Portin as dependable and a great supporter whose input in Board meetings was “invaluable, supportive, positive and hopeful.”

Mr. Portin is survived by Florence, his wife of 52 years; daughter Sharon (and husband Lewis) of Old Greenwich, Connecticut; his son, Rick (and wife Pamela), of Bellevue, Washington, and one grandson, Alexander.

Mr. Portin’s family, in consultation with University president Dr. Don Argue, established a scholarship fund. “Education was so important to my father,” says daughter, Sharon. ” He was a lifetime learner. It was natural to set up a scholarship fund. We want to give back, in memory of Henry, a living tribute to education and the school he loved so dearly.”

Mr. Portin used the creative media of radio, television and film to tell positive stories of life and to speak for those he met who did not have an opportunity to be heard. He had supported the communications field and was therefore very happy when Northwest University introduced the Communications degree program last fall.

The family’s wish for the scholarship is that it goes to a student pursuing a career in the communications field such as radio and television.

“We hope that the scholarship goes to a student who has dreams that may seem impossible to him/her at the moment, but with the inspiration of Henry’s life and a scholarship, the student will have a sense of hope that his /her dream is, in fact, possible.” says Sharon.

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