Alumni Association reaches $1 mil mark in scholarship fundraising

September 9, 2010

At a reception in August, the Alumni Association gave more than $118,000 in scholarship funds to 44 students on the Denver Campus. Added to the funds disbursed throughout the years, this amount pushed the grand total for scholarships distributed to students over the $1 million mark.

“This is an amazing year to be leading the scholarship committee,” says Denton Crofts, MBA ’03. “A million dollars is no small feat—especially to the students who have received the money.”

“It’s taken 20 years to reach this milestone,” says Carol Heller, who retired this summer after 21 years as director of alumni relations, “and we couldn’t have done it without a dedicated alumni board, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual donors. They’re an amazing group of people.”

The primary scholarship fundraising event for the Denver Campus is the Rock Bottom Ruckus dinner and auction in February. The 2010 celebration marked the 20th year for that event, which would not be possible without the dedication and generosity of the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at 16th and Curtis Streets downtown.

“Alumni just love to come to the Rock Bottom Ruckus,” says former Chancellor Georgia Lesh-Laurie, who has served for years on the alumni board. “It’s such a great cause and so much fun. And the students are so deserving of the scholarships. Nobody loses!”

Another important source for scholarship funds has been our corporate partners. FirstBank of Colorado, Public Service Credit Union, Liberty Mutual and College Invest have sponsored named scholarships throughout the years.

Senior international studies major Josiah Albertsen was a Liberty Mutual scholar for two years and received a general alumni scholarship this year. “My wife had graduated from college three or four years before I started. Neither of us looked forward to enduring the college lifestyle again,” he says. “Although I work 40-hour weeks, I know books, supplies and tuition are taken care of. The scholarships have allowed us to continue to live our lives.”

For Albertsen, the alumni scholarship experience extended directly to a career. “As scholarship recipients, they ask us to volunteer during the year, and I really felt like I owed that to them,” he says. “I worked the phone-a-thon and spent a couple of hours with Alumni Association Board member Rex Emery [BS ’03]. He offered me an internship with his financial services company. Now I’m a fully licensed financial advisor.” Albertsen will graduate in May 2011.

“Scholarships are important to students for different reasons,” says Crofts. “For some, it’s the only way they can afford to go to school. For others, it’s the relief they need to push through to the finish. Having that kind of impact is very rewarding.”

Photo: At the scholarship reception held August 14, 44 UCD students received more than $118,000 in scholarship disbursements—bringing the grand total for Alumni Association scholarships distributed above the $1 million mark.