DENVER—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; and a $750,000 challenge pledge will foster innovation in family-violence prevention at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs.
These are a few ways in which private funders supported CU people, places and programs to the tune of nearly $141 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, according to unaudited numbers. 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.”
Benson stressed that while fundraising dollars add value to CU, they are targeted by donors to specific people, programs and infrastructure and cannot be diverted to replace diminishing state funding. Less than 2 percent of CU’s philanthropic dollars is unrestricted.
The private support total for CU in 2009-10 includes $92 million given through the University of Colorado Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, and $48.8million directly to CU, which includes gifts-in-kind, gifts to the CU Real Estate Foundation, and support from the university’s clinical practice.
Overall, the 4.7percent 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 still finding ways to commit financially to CU.
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 commitment (the campus’s largest ever) by Pinnacol Assurance to establish a new Risk Management and Insurance program at the UC Denver Business School.
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 Corp. 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/M.D. program aimed toward preparing Colorado students for primary-care physician careers
- Colorado Springs: Science Building upgrades, and the Heller Center for Arts and Humanities
The CU Foundation’s Long Term Investment Pool (LTIP)—which includes the vast majority of foundation endowments invested on behalf of CU—recovered substantially this past year as the market’s economic shocks continue to moderate, and surpassed its benchmarks 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.
About the CU System
The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. More than 56,000 students are pursuing academic degrees at CU. The National Science Foundation ranks CU eighth among public institutions in federal research expenditures in engineering and science. Academic prestige is marked by the university’s four Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about the entire CU system, and to access campus resources, go to www.cu.edu .
About the CU Foundation
Founded in 1967, the nonprofit CU Foundation partners with the University of Colorado to raise, manage, and invest private support for the university's benefit. Our donors help the university transform lives through education, research, clinical care, and community engagement. Visit www.cufund.org  for more information.