CU Denver alumna honored

SPA graduate Foster inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame

April 20, 2018

CU Denver alumna, MPA ’85, Leslie Foster was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in March.

She joined CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell among this year’s class of inductees.

Foster is a longtime nonprofit leader who lifts up others to fulfill their potential, while making communities work for diverse populations. Since 1990, Foster has been the president of The Gathering Place, which serves women, children and people who are transgender and who are experiencing poverty.

Foster graduated magna cum laude from Stephens College in Missouri and received her Master of Public Administration degree from CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs. She completed the Denver Community Leadership Forum certificate program, via SPA, in 1993. She was appointed to the Mayor’s Commission to End Homelessness in 2003.

Under Foster’s leadership, The Gathering Place has grown to an annual budget of $2.5 million and assets over $7 million. The organization serves more than 250 individuals daily. In a prior role as the pro bono project coordinator of the Mental Health Association of Colorado (now Mental Health America), Foster created a nationally recognized program that placed volunteer mental health professionals in schools and shelters.

Foster’s parents instilled in her a deep sense of civic engagement, volunteerism and social justice. Her father was a union pipefitter and her mother was one of the first activity directors in nursing homes and a member of Gov. Romer’s Commission on Aging. Foster joined the Board of Directors of Community Shares of Colorado, serving as board chair from 1993-96.

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