Matthew Kriese and Frida Silva stand at podium

More than 150 gather at donor recognition event

Donors, faculty, students and staff celebrate philanthropy and CU in the City

October 30, 2018

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.
CU Denver’s 2018 donor recognition dinner at the History Colorado Center on Oct. 25 featured a panel discussion focused on the impact of philanthropy on the university.

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.”

Sue Sharkey, David Jordan, Dorothy Horrell
Chancellor Horrell greets CU Board of Regents Chair Sue Sharkey and David Jordan at the 2018 university donor recognition dinner.

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.

Musicians perform on stage
The student Latin ensemble, Voz de la Clave, provided musical entertainment for the 2018 university donor recognition 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.

Bruce Benson, Marcy Benson, Don Johnson, Liezl Pacult, Rick Sommerfield
President Bruce and Marcy Benson stand with donor Don Johnson, alumna and panelist Liezl Pacult, and Assistant Professor of Architecture Rick Sommerfeld at the 2018 university donor recognition dinner.

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.

Sarah Engel, Madhavan Parthasarthy, Jake Jabs, Rene Green
Milo photo bombs this shot of Sarah Engel, assistant director for the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, and Madhavan Parthasarthy, associate professor of marketing, and donors Jake Jabs and Rene Green at the 2018 university donor recognition dinner .

Guest contributor: Jim Dunn, Office of Advancement