“The story of CU Denver is also your story,” Chancellor Michelle Marks told a gathering of CU Denver’s contributors after highlighting the impact of their philanthropy over recent decades. “You and all of our generous donors are integral to our history, and to our future,” she remarked to the more than 150 donors, alumni, university leadership, deans, faculty, and students gathered for CU Denver’s Donor Celebration, held on Oct. 6 at the Denver Art Museum.
The chancellor’s remarks concluded a program that also featured words of thanks from CU President Todd Saliman and an interactive trivia game led by Steve Turner, director of the Dana Crawford Preservation Program in the College of Architecture and Planning and Director Emeritus of History Colorado. With results shown live as participants submitted their responses through their phones, the trivia allowed attendees to test their knowledge of CU Denver’s unique history, such as the year the university began as the extension center of the CU Boulder Department of Correspondence and Extension (1912). Turner also highlighted a number of notable alumni, including Gloria Tanner, a School of Public Affairs graduate who became the first African American woman to serve as a Colorado state senator, and Dan Gilbert, a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences alum who gave one of the most popular TED Talks of all time on the nature of happiness.
Throughout the evening, from the program to the décor and even a signature cocktail called a 50th Fizz, CU Denver’s 50th anniversary figured prominently at the reception, which took place in the museum’s recently renovated Sturm Pavilion.
As is customary, CU Denver students played lead roles at the event. Students Government Association President Juan Gonzalez served as emcee for the program, and the student musical ensemble, Voz de la Clave, provided live entertainment. A group of students from the University Honors and Leadership Program were also on hand to welcome and chat with guests.
The Donor Celebration is an annual event that recognizes the university’s generous contributors and the significant impact private philanthropy makes on CU Denver’s students, programs, and campus. The event is one of many planned this year as part of CU Denver’s yearlong anniversary celebration.