University of Colorado surpasses $1.5 billion Creating Futures campaign milestone

CreatingFutures-magazine-coverUniversity of Colorado President Bruce Benson  announced the completion of CU’s fourth-ever fundraising campaign, Creating Futures, Thursday morning with more than $1.521 billion in private support raised to support people, places and programs on CU’s four campuses.

Propelling CU to campaign success were more than 158,000 donors who made more than 403,000 gifts to CU from the official July 1, 2006 start of Creating Futures through Sept. 30, 2013, when campaign counting concluded. The Creating Futures campaign generated more support for CU than any other effort in the university’s 137-year history.

“Donors have made CU a better place for students, faculty, alumni and friends,” said Bruce Benson, who with his wife, Marcy, has served as chair of the campaign. “Today, we celebrate the success of the Creating Futures campaign and say ‘thank you’ to all the donors who have fueled that success.”

UCCS has benefited from more than $67.1 million in private support during the campaign, from 9,250 donors. The effort was bolstered by outstanding volunteer leadership from campus campaign chairs Ed and Mary Osborne—who themselves committed current and future UCCS gifts of more than $10 million during the campaign. In 2011, the Osborne Science and Engineering Center was named in their honor.

Other ways in which UCCS has benefited from transformative donor support during Creating Futures include:

  • The Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, which when it opens in 2014 will anchor UCCS expansion along North Nevada Avenue, and was seeded by $4 million in gifts from Margot Lane and the Lane Family Foundation.
  • A $5.5 million gift toward UCCS scholarships by an anonymous donor, making the school one of just eight in the U.S. to benefit from this nationally publicized philanthropic act.
  • The Gallogly Events Center, which opened in 2010 thanks to $1 million given in memory of alumnus Tommy Gallogly. Seven of 10 Gallogly children also graduated from UCCS.
  • A new UCCS partnership between the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences and rural Colorado community colleges, which will help combat a rural nursing shortage, and has been launched thanks to a $2.22 million grant from the Colorado Health Foundation.

Also during the Creating Futures campaign period, more than $240 million was given toward endowments that support CU’s four campuses with perpetual funding streams for generations to come. As of Sept. 30, CU held $937.4 million in endowments, a 57 percent increase since the start of the campaign.

“Throughout Creating Futures, it has been an honor to work with my volunteer peers who have worked to serve this great university and inspire donor support,” said Carl (“Spike”) Eklund , chair of the board of directors. “The University of Colorado is an integral contributor to the health and welfare of citizens throughout and beyond this state. Today, we celebrate its fundamental role as a core Colorado institution.”

The strong private support seen during Creating Futures, though it coincided with the worst economic downturn in 75 years, represents a formidable vote of confidence by alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations toward the University of Colorado.

But with continuing threats to state funding for the university and escalating needs in areas ranging from financial aid to physical infrastructure, increased fundraising will be a critical and continuing imperative for CU. To this end, the university recently revamped its advancement operations to more directly align its fundraising structure with the university.

“As long as society has burning questions that remain to be answered, new frontiers that remain to be explored, we must continue to push hard for greater capacity in everything we do,” said Kelly Cronin, vice president of Advancement, CU system.  “Today we celebrate the passions of our donors and the efforts of our faculty and staff, and look ahead to a future in which generous donors continue to better equip CU to educate, innovate and foster positive change.”

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