As executive vice president, chief operating officer and corporate secretary for the El Pomar Foundation, UCCS alum Matt Carpenter understands the value of giving back. Carpenter oversees grant and program operations for the Colorado Springs-based outfit, which provides more than $22 million annually to Colorado organizations while also facilitating community development through outreach programs and open forums.
For Carpenter, that benevolent approach is about more than money – it’s about engaging with the community in a meaningful way. That’s something he learned as a graduate student at UCCS, where he graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration in 2006.
“Having the opportunity to get to learn more about public administration, nonprofit management, getting to have interaction with faculty who are actually engaged in the nonprofit sector in our community, and also students who were either working in the nonprofit sector or interested in a future in the nonprofit sector, really helped me to develop a relationship with members of our community,” he said.
Carpenter and the El Pomar Foundation consider their relationship with UCCS a foundational element in developing the Colorado Springs community and beyond.
“UCCS is one of those key infrastructure organizations that just makes things happen,” Carpenter said. “There’s something rare about UCCS that not all institutions do. They convene folks. They bring folks together from maybe varying sides to talk about an issue, and try to bring some change for the better of the community.”
Carpenter encourages UCCS alumni to give back to the community in any way they can, whether it’s in Colorado Springs or their own home communities.
“Always remember what you learned here at UCCS, and take advantage of sharing that knowledge with others.”
Matt Carpenter is a distinguished alumnus who delivered the fall 2019 commencement keynote speech. View a list of other notable alumni here.