When you invest in CU Denver, you invest in the future. That was the overarching message Chancellor Dorothy Horrell conveyed to the university’s contributors as host of the 2018 donor recognition dinner on Oct. 25 at the History Colorado Center. More than 150 donors, members of the university’s leadership, faculty, deans and students gathered for the event, called “A Celebration of CU in the City.”
Examining philanthropy’s impact
Chancellor Horrell delivered her remarks about fueling the future following a multimedia panel discussion that served to highlight the impact of philanthropy on the university. The panel, moderated by Vice Chancellor for Advancement Melisa Baldwin, featured a recent graduate, two current students, and a faculty member, who reflected on the ways philanthropy influenced their educational and life experiences.
The panelists included:
- Liezl Pacult (MArch, ’18), who described her experience as a member of a Colorado Building Workshop team from the College of Architecture and Planning that designed and built a community space in Moab, Utah, for Colorado Outward Bound.
- Daniel Ramirez, a pre-med student who spoke about the many physical, mental and social benefits he enjoys thanks to the new Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center.
- Meena Esan, a biology major who described the liberating effects of scholarships on her ability to study and succeed at CU Denver.
- Sam Walker, PhD, senior instructor of philosophy, who impressed the audience by noting the recent rise in faculty and staff giving and explaining the motivation behind his own support of scholarships.
Giving students rocket fuel to succeed
In addressing the guests, Chancellor Horrell explained, “For our students and faculty, your generous gifts to fund scholarships, build and equip facilities, develop new programs and expand research provide the rocket fuel that enables them to dream bigger, reach higher and go farther than they thought possible.”
Students were an integral part of the event. Student Government Association President Matthew Kriese and Vice President Frida Silva served as emcees for the evening. Student musicians from the Latin group Voz de la Clave, provided musical entertainment. And a large group of scholarship recipients both assisted with the event logistics and enjoyed socializing with donors over dinner.
Setting records for generosity
CU President Bruce Benson spoke during the program about CU Denver’s unique and vital place within the CU System. Sue Sharkey, chair of the CU Board of Regents, and Jack Kroll, CU regent, CU Denver alumnus and current graduate student, also attended.
Philanthropic support plays an increasingly essential role at CU Denver. Last fiscal year, the campus raised a record $20.8 million in private gifts. Moreover, faculty and staff have demonstrated impressive generosity, having collectively contributed more than $1 million since January 2017.
Guest contributor: Jim Dunn, Office of Advancement