Portland State University (or PSU) is a university located in downtown Portland, Oregon.
The University was established as the Vanport Extension Center in 1946, and refusing to close after the Vanport Flood of 1948, it became known as "The College that Wouldn't Die". In 1952 the Center moved to downtown Portland occupying the old Lincoln High School on SW Broadway street, currently named Lincoln Hall, then in 1955 it changed its name to Portland State College, becoming a four-year, degree-granting institution.
PSU struggled for the next couple of decades under the ruling that no university or college in Oregon could duplicate the programs offered by another -- with grandfathered exclusions for the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. Nevertheless, graduate programs were added in 1961, doctoral programs in 1968, and at last the institution was granted university status by the Oregon State System of Higher Education in 1969.
In 2003 PSU was approved to award degrees in Black Studies. That same year the university opened a center to support Native Americans studying at college.
PSU differs from the other state schools in Oregon in attracting a student body older on average than the other universities. It also trailed in development of a campus, which started with selling land in a neighboring block soon after its move to downtown Portland, and delaying the construction of student housing until the early 1970s, when a student-founded group managed several apartments that had been scheduled to be demolished by the university, and which the PSU administration eventually took more direct control of in the later 1980s.