CU garners $140.8 million in private support for fiscal year 2009-10

A pioneer of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Learning Assistants program gives more than $100,000 to help innovative teaching practices reach more students. A University of Colorado at Colorado Springs business-ethics initiative gets a seven-figure infusion. A major estate gift enhances Alzheimer’s research at CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus.

These are a few ways in which private funders supported University of Colorado people, places, and programs, to the tune of $140.8 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 according to unaudited numbers. Donors gave more than $5.4 million to UCCS through the CU Foundation. This caps CU’s strongest four years for private support in its 134-year history, and lays the groundwork for increasing focus on donor funding in an era of increasing university need.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support of our donors, who continue to make crucial investments in CU’s people, programs and infrastructure despite difficult economic times,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “Their contributions add significant value to our efforts to enhance the economic, social and cultural well being of Colorado and the nation.”

The private support total for CU in 2009-10 includes $92.0 million given through the University of Colorado Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, and $48.8 million directly to CU, which includes gifts-in-kind, gifts to the CU Real Estate Foundation, and support from the university’s clinical practice among other categories.

Overall, the 4.7 percent private-support increase from 2008-09 reflects a strong performance amid continued economic uncertainty. While the market-recovery slowdown impeded gifts of more than $1 million and gifts from foundations (whose strength and weakness often parallels the strength and weakness of stock markets), supporters are finding ways to commit financially to CU even in turbulent times.

A particularly strong indicator is seen in the $25.2 million in commitments created by donors in their estate plans in 2009-10. Though not counted in the 2009-10 fundraising total (since estate gifts are not realized until after a donor’s passing), this total is a 700 percent increase over 2008-09, making this the university’s strongest year in history for such commitments, and indicating steadfast loyalty to CU.

Also, the Denver campus had its strongest fundraising year in history, raising more than $8.6 million on the heels of a $5 million multiyear pledge (the campus’s largest ever) by Pinnacol Assurance to establish a new Risk Management and Insurance program at the UC Denver College of Business.

CU donors are funding:

  • Teaching and Learning at UC Denver, whose Business School will educate tomorrow’s corporate social-responsibility leaders thanks to a $300,000 gift from Denver based firm ProLogis to name the new Managing for Sustainability suite in the Business School’s new building.
  • Discovery and Innovation at CU-Boulder, where a transformative Systems Biotechnology Building to open in 2011 received several major gifts, including $1 million from the Amgen Corporation and $1 million from Jane Butcher in honor of her late husband and biotech entrepreneur, Charlie Butcher.
  • Culture and Community at UCCS, where student-athletes and campus-hosted events now reach three times as many spectators thanks to a $1 million gift toward a new Events Center from the Gallogly family, of which eight members have earned UCCS degrees.
  • Health and Wellness at the Anschutz Medical Campus, where medical students directed toward primary care careers in underserved Colorado communities will receive scholarships thanks to a $1.6 million estate gift from former CU School of Medicine researcher and CU-Boulder alumna Jean Baughman.

“I’ve been humbled by all the support for programs on all four campuses, and the fact that we’ve had such tremendous response from donors,” says J. Wayne Hutchens, president and CEO of the University of Colorado Foundation. “The impressive support for CU shows that citizens are more motivated than ever to strengthen Colorado’s flagship public university system.”

This coming year, the CU Foundation will redouble its fundraising efforts to support deserving students, help graduates meet tomorrow’s challenges, and provide programs and services that meet community and industry needs. Priority areas include:

  • Scholarships, fellowships, and faculty chairs on all CU campuses
  • Boulder: The Systems Biotechnology Building, an interdisciplinary Energy Initiative, and the Center for Community to open in fall 2010
  • Anschutz Medical Campus: A Health and Wellness Center, Cancer Center programs, and a Rural Health Initiative
  • Denver: A building for the Business School, and funding for an eight-year bachelor’s/MD program aimed toward preparing Colorado students for primary-care physician careers
  • Colorado Springs: Refurbishment of the Science Building, and the Heller Center for Arts and Humanities

The CU Foundation’s Long Term Investment Pool —which includes the vast majority of Foundation endowments invested on behalf of CU—recovered substantially this past calendar year as the market’s economic shocks continue to moderate, and surpassed its benchmark index for the 6th consecutive fiscal year. As of June 30, the LTIP had appreciated 12.08 percent for the trailing 12 months. Structured to minimize risk and maximize long-term returns, the LTIP has appreciated 30.1 percent for the trailing five years, compared with 3.4 percent for its policy benchmark and a 3.9 percent decline for the S&P 500 during that period. The Foundation’s performance rates in the top 2 percent of its peer group over that period.

— Jeremy Simon, CU Foundation

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