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Fall 2015

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financial updates | meeting highlights | upcoming meetings
campus highlights | philanthropy in focus

Dear fellow trustees,

Welcome to the fall DashBOARD, our quarterly newsletter with updates on recent CU private support and CU Foundation Long Term Investment Pool (LTIP) performance.

Most of us have just experienced a stimulating series of meetings and events on the CU-Boulder campus, (detailed further below), and among other activities we welcomed 19 new members to the Board of Trustees, as well as Mike Pritchard as the CU Foundation’s new vice president of finance and chief financial officer. I hope you can attend the Sustainable Excellence Initiative Dedication Gala on Friday, Feb. 26.

The big news for philanthropic giving is the enhancement of our CU Advancement website. We’ve just launched Phase 1 of our upgrade—with a refreshed homepage, a new URL at, and a more robust and user-friendly donation portal just in time for the holiday giving season. You will see a fully refreshed site early next year with revamped site map, visuals, and informational and feature content; at that point, DashBOARD too will migrate to the new site, though today you’re reading it at

In closing, I would be remiss if I did not ask you to consider a year-end contribution to support the University of Colorado. Be among the first donors to give at, and let us know what you think. I greatly appreciate your support, which enables Advancement to continue to take such steps forward on behalf of the University of Colorado.

With thanksgiving for your confidence, loyalty and generosity,

Jack Finlaw
CU Foundation President and CEO

Private Support


thermometer graphic$75M
fy 2016 total
gift graphic+0.75%
over fy 2015
stock exchange graphic13,864
fy 2016 gifts
total-support-fall-2015These figures represent all philanthropic support to CU, both money raised through the Foundation and through the university.


FOR THE 12-MONTH PERIOD ENDING September 30, 2015

stock exchange graphic-5.52%
stock exchange graphic-6.78%
stock exchange graphic-6.44%
S&P 500


Visit for more information and analysis about our investment performance and outlook, as well as a new informational guide to CU’s endowments.


As of September 30, 2015

dollar sign graphic$1.26B
dollar sign graphic$1.03B
gift graphic2,387


The balance of the Long Term Investment Pool as of September 30 is $1.26 billion, while CU’s collective endowment (a subset of the LTIP) is $1.03 billion, representing 2,387 individually directed endowments. Also during fiscal year 2016 so far, $26.7 million in gifts and endowment income have been distributed by the Foundation and applied to CU programs.

November Trustee Meeting Recap

After a lively Thursday evening reception and tours of new CU Buffs facilities, we saw our largest Trustee turnout in years on Friday, Nov. 13, for our quarterly meeting at the Glenn Miller Ballroom at CU-Boulder.

Chair Jim Linfield began the meeting by recapping the CU Foundation’s goals for the past year and describing how each of the goals has been accomplished, and by introducing all of the new Trustees in attendance. University President Bruce Benson followed with an update on exciting CU happenings—touching on everything from the recent GOP debate and Bernie Sanders’ appearances on the CU-Boulder campus to the university-wide efficiency measures that have garnered national attention for Benson’s fiscal approach.

Foundation President Jack Finlaw touted several new key CU Advancement operational initiatives, highlighting recent website and intranet enhancements, the rollout of new call centers for CU Denver and UCCS that will come online in January, as well as his and Advancement Vice President Johnnie Ray’s goal to meet individually with each Trustee in the year ahead. Earl Wright, chair of the Investment Policy Committee, and Chris Bittman, the Foundation’s outsourced Chief Investment Officer, then discussed endowment investments, adding nuanced context to the above data—including the fact that CU Foundation investments have outperformed their comparative benchmarks and most peer universities these past two years.

Following a break, we heard CU-Boulder updates in conversational formats, starting with Chancellor Philip DiStefano talking with Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement Angela Farone. Provost Russ Moore then took the stage for insightful sessions with leaders from two major CU-Boulder initiatives: the new College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI), and the highly ranked Aerospace and Engineering Sciences program.

Join us at the Holiday Party

You’re all invited to join CU Advancement on Tuesday, Dec. 15, as we celebrate the holiday season “in mad style” at the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver. Please see the formal invitation here. We hope to see you there.

2016 Trustee Meetings

Friday, February 5, 2016, CU Denver

Friday, May 6, 2016, UCCS

Friday, August 12, 2016, CU Anschutz

Campus private support highlights

CU Anschutz

The Gates Frontiers Fund made a $6 million commitment to cap off a $12 million partnership with CU and the CU Foundation to fund research at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine.

A $1.3 million bequest by Jay and Kathleen Ogsbury will support the Ogsbury-Kindt Neurosurgery Chair in the School of Medicine, currently held by Kevin O. Lillehei, MD.

The Williams Family Foundation gave $1 million to the Department of Family Medicine.

The Colorado Health Foundation made grants and commitments of $791,000 to support programs addressing childhood obesity, integrated care and related issues.

With a $517,000 gift, Lyda Hill established the Hill Ocular Stem Cell Research Fund supporting the CU Eye Center.

Richard and Cathey Finlon gave $500,000 to establish the Finlon-Glode Endowed Fellowship in Prostate Cancer Research.

New endowed chairs that help attract and retain top talent, established with $2 million commitments, include:

  • The Joyce Zeff Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research was made possible by Joyce Zeff and family, and is held by Ross Camidge, MD, PhD.
  • The Pia and Fred R. Hirsch Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research was made possible by the Colorado Lung Cancer Association, the Amy Davis Lung Cancer Research Fund and the CU Cancer Center. Fred Hirsch, MD, PhD holds the chair.
  • The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Chair in Cancer Stem Cell Biology was established by the Mordecai Foundation and is held by Antonio Jimeno, MD, PhD.
  • The Boedecker Foundation established the Boedecker Endowed Chair in Emergency Medicine, to be held by Richard Zane, MD.


William G. MacDonald (’67, ’68) set up a $10,000 current scholarship and $3 million bequest commitment to establish a scholarship for CU-Boulder students from the San Luis Valley region of Colorado or Taos County in New Mexico.

Bradley (’82) and Lisa Blackwell, parents of three CU-Boulder graduates, established a $100,000 endowed financial aid scholarship for CU-Boulder students studying in the College of Media, Communication and Information or majoring in Political Science, in honor of their daughters Amanda (’09), Kathryn (’12) and Stephanie (’15).

Steve Ollanik named the School of Education in his estate plans with a future commitment of $500,000 and a multi-year pledge $25,000 to start a new scholarship. Both gifts will support scholarships for CU teacher education candidates in their teaching semester.

Kim (’80) and Gail (’79) Koehn pledged to match any gift, dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000 from fellow CU alumni and members of the real estate community. This six-month initiative raised $512,000 to support the Real Estate Student Experience Fund.

Boulder entrepreneur Chris Bentley recently made a $250,000 bequest to the Leeds School of Business to be used at the discretion of the dean upon realization.


Dr. James (J.B.) and Marilyn Miller have helped bring more than $1 million as part of the working committee to endow the first chair of the Johnson-Beth El School of Nursing and Health Sciences in honor of the former dean, the late Dr. Carole Schoffstall. In addition, the Millers’ estate plans will create an endowed scholarship to benefit the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCCS. Kaiser Permanente also committed $50,000 to the college, which will be split to fund the Kaiser Permanente 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment for nursing and health sciences students and the Dr. Carole Schoffstall Endowed Chair.

Jane Dillon, CU Advocate Volunteer of the Year and member of several UCCS boards, supports three scholarship programs at UCCS. Dillon made a $750,000 estate gift to benefit the Reach Your Peak scholarship program, which recognizes hard-working students who may not have had the opportunity to attend college without the scholarship.

CU Denver

CU Denver’s focus on increasing scholarship resources paid important dividends, yielding a first-quarter total of $418,220 in gifts and pledges. Leading donors included the Denver Scholarship Foundation, the Reisher Family Foundation, the Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarships, and the Harry L. and Eva J. Puksta Foundation. Additional momentum came from “Passports to Possibilities,” an accelerated mini-initiative that asked students and alumni of the Office of International Affairs study abroad program for contributions; so far it has generated $12,000, which includes matching gifts by challenge commitments from Janet Mordecai (’65) and Al (’79) and Mary Stecklein.

Volunteers are being integrated into the Chancellor’s Development Committee under the leadership of Gary and Kathy Meggison, who are also co-chairing the campus fund for CU activities. This will streamline functions and optimize the impact of the time and effort our volunteers dedicate to CU Denver.

Dick and Joyce Brown have renewed support for the Boots to Suits programs, and Fritz Knopf has made a significant addition to the doctoral fellowship he has endowed in support of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Department of Biology.

Philanthropy in Focus: Inspired by parents, CAM associate professor supports scholarship fund

PaW_Mary_ConnellyMary Connelly, an associate professor at the College of Arts & Media at CU Denver, called supporting student scholarships “like giving tribute to my father, because he was a working-class man who had little education. For him, the value of education trumped everything. He was proud of his children because all of us became first-generation college students.” Learn more about Connelly’s efforts.