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Dear fellow Trustees,

Summer is a busy time at the CU Foundation as it brings the budgeting and strategic planning work commensurate with the start of a new fiscal year each July 1. And in this season we are focused too on preparing our reports to stakeholders on the successes and challenges of the prior fiscal year. Those of you who have created endowments for the benefit of CU can look forward to “new and improved” Endowment Status Reports this fall.

At the CU Foundation we are ever mindful of the critical role we play as the single portal for philanthropic giving to the University of Colorado. To that end, our recently updated mission statement reminds us that our purpose is “to receive, manage and prudently invest private support for the benefit of the University of Colorado.” We strive to act with integrity, to deliver exceptional customer service, to be innovative and efficient every day, to value and respect the thoughts and opinions of others and to be excellent stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us.

Philanthropic giving to CU through the CU Foundation broke all records in fiscal year 2016. Gifts received by the Foundation for the benefit of CU totaled $178 million in FY16, a 34.8% increase over the $132 million received by the Foundation in FY15. Kudos to our partners at CU Advancement for their good work connecting donors with their passions! And I am pleased to report that the Foundation processed all of the FY16 gifts using fewer staff resources than we deployed in FY15, resulting in cost savings and a greater portion of our operating budget being available to fund CU Advancement’s donor cultivation and stewardship efforts. And this support continues with the Foundation’s FY17 operating budget, which allocates more than 80% of our projected $25.4 million in revenue to underwrite CU Advancement operations.

As of June 30, all of the 2,510 endowments held by the Foundation for the benefit of CU were valued at $1.06 billion, and the total value of the Foundation’s long term investment pool was $1.3 billion. And while the LTIP’s annualized investment performance was a disappointing -2.63% for the 12-month period ending June 30, its annualized investment performance over the prior 10-year period remained above 6%. As a sign of how seriously the Foundation’s Board of Directors takes its responsibilities to protect the value of the university’s endowments over time, the board is considering making changes to the Foundation’s Endowment Spending Policy to preserve the long-term purchasing power of the endowments.

You will find a full report below on our summer Trustees meeting at CU Anschutz Medical Campus. A highlight of that gathering for me was the time spent by Trustees huddled in their new teams—strengthening relationships and planning new ways to explore together CU’s many cultural and athletic events. A special thanks to Trustee Engagement Committee chair Heidi Ganahl and team captains Fred Bradford, Bryan McCollam, Kathy Finley, Mary Gearhart, Carol Frank, Sarah Schupp and Kevin Kratt for your leadership in strengthening the culture of commitment and involvement with CU.

I look forward to seeing you all at our next Trustees gathering in November. We will welcome an enthusiastic group of new Trustees at that meeting. And it will be an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy all of the many delights the CU Boulder campus has to offer on a fall weekend!

Warm regards,

CU Foundation President and CEO

Giving to the CU Foundation


thermometer graphic$178M
fy 2016 total
gift graphic34.8%
over fy 2015
stock exchange graphic84,356
fy 2016 gifts
chart showing total contributed to date
These figures represent only philanthropic giving to the CU Foundation in fiscal year 2016, not total support to CU.



stock exchange graphic-2.63%
stock exchange graphic-2.02%
stock exchange graphic3.99%
S&P 500
chart showing the investment performance to date
Visit for more information and analysis about our investment performance and outlook, as well as a new informational guide to CU’s endowments.


END OF FISCAL YEAR 2016 (JUNE 30, 2016)

dollar sign graphic$1.3B
dollar sign graphic$1.06B
gift graphic2,510
chart showing the investment performance to date
The balance of the Long Term Investment Pool as of June 30 is $1.3 billion, while CU’s collective endowment (a subset of the LTIP) is $1.06 billion, representing 2,510 individually directed endowments. Also during fiscal year 2016, $106.2 million in gifts and endowment income were distributed by the Foundation and applied to CU programs.

CU Foundation and Advancement News

CU Denver on the road in D.C.: Chancellor Dorothy Horrell co-hosted the 2016 Colorado Capital Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 8-10, along with Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster and Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner. More than 100 business, professional and civic leaders, students and philanthropists from all corners of Colorado met with and heard from Colorado’s congressional delegation and other distinguished speakers. Before the conference, Dr. Horrell joined our CU Denver Advancement team of Vice Chancellor Andrea Wagner, Associate Director of Development Corey Falter and Alumni Coordinator Monica Cutler for a reception attended by 41 alumni and special guests, including donor Jake Jabs, former Gov. Bill Ritter (JD, ’81), and CU Regents Steve Bosley (’68, H ’03), Irene Griego (’73, PhD ’97), and Sue Sharkey.

CU Denver Advancement debuts new website: The site at invites alumni, donors, students, faculty, staff and friends to engage with CU Denver’s Advancement team to support CU.

August Trustee Meeting Recap

Trustees were welcomed to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus for their summer meeting on Aug. 12 with several enlightening discussions on innovation and how it translates into the campus’ strategic goals. Board Chair Jim Linfield spoke with CU Anschutz Chancellor Donald Elliman and David Lacey, MD, about innovation from the business perspective. Dr. Lacey, alumnus of the CU School of Medicine and former senior vice president of discovery research of Amgen, spoke about the kind of environment necessary for entrepreneurship and intellectual property commercialization to flourish and be successful. He commended Chancellor Elliman for his leadership in creating a more nurturing environment for this at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

Chancellor Elliman described the commitment of resources and infrastructure on the campus to the new CU Innovations fund. This fund, with its goal of raising $10 million, is geared toward creation of a culture of entrepreneurship among faculty and investigators that will ultimately attract the best and the brightest researchers to CU Anschutz Medical Campus and financial rewards for the university.

Trustees heard firsthand from several faculty and staff who are championing medical innovation at CU Anschutz, including Steve VanNurden, David Ross, PhD, Wayne Guerra, MD, MBA, and V. Michael Holers, MD. Matt Vogl, Executive Director of the new National Behavioral Health Innovation Center, and Kevin Reidy, volunteer board chair of the center and CU Foundation director, outlined the needs of our community and state in the field of mental and behavioral health and the innovation taking place on the campus to address those needs.

CU President Bruce Benson and CU Foundation President Jack Finlaw shared recent highlights and activities of the university and the Foundation. Earl Wright, chair of the Foundation’s Investment Policy Committee, gave an update on market performance of CU Foundation’s endowment portfolio through June 30.

Trustee Engagement chair Heidi Ganahl, with committee members Carol Frank and Kathy Finley, introduced plans to engage trustees more proactively in 2016-17 with the help of committee members leading each of eight trustee teams. The teams had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas at the meeting for fostering camaraderie among themselves and increased support for the advancement efforts of the university.

On Thursday evening, trustees were ushered back into the classroom for dinner in a lunch box and a fascinating primer on Personalized Medicine 101, led by Kathleen Barnes, PhD, and Inigo San Millan, PhD, both renowned leaders in their fields of personalized medicine and exercise physiology, respectively.

2016-17 Trustee Meetings

Trustee Reception at CU Boulder

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

Trustee and Director Meetings at CU Boulder

Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

Trustee Reception at CU Anschutz Medical Campus

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Trustee and Director Meetings at CU Anschutz Medical Campus

Friday, Feb. 10, 2017

Trustee Reception at UCCS

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trustee Meeting at UCCS

Friday, May 5, 2017

Director Meeting in Denver

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trustee Reception at CU Denver

Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017

Trustee and Director meetings at CU Denver

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017


Campus private support highlights

CU Anschutz

The ALSAM Foundation committed $3 million to fund therapeutic innovation research projects in the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which will enable select faculty members to conduct cutting-edge research on novel therapeutics in collaboration with CU’s BioFrontiers Institute.

The Colorado Health Foundation committed $1.47 million to support the Virgilio Licona, MD, Memorial Scholars Fund, advanced care planning initiatives with Denver Hospice, and an initiative to improve health and wellness in Colorado schools.

The Galena Foundation provided $500,000 in continued support for faculty development and programming in the Center for Women’s Health Research.

Robert Nassimbene, DDS, made a $250,000 estate commitment that will support the CU School of Dental Medicine.

Karen Wehling made a $240,000 commitment through her estate to support colorectal and head and neck cancer research at the CU Cancer Center.

An anonymous donor gave $200,000 in support for the Natalie Kutner Palliative Care Creative Arts Therapy Program Fund, which was established by Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH (’96) in memory of her mother.

CU Boulder

Outgoing Colorado Law Dean Phil Weiser and his wife, Heidi, have established the Philip J. Weiser Public Service Fellowship to provide stipends to law students working in non-paying public sector jobs. Since the establishment of the Weiser Fellowship, 65 donors added their support to grow the fund to more than $260,000.

Max Wesner Dixon (MA ’61) made a $25,000 stock gift to establish an endowment that financially supports four students from the Department of Theatre & Dance to act in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s summer season. The Max Dixon Acting Intern Award was inspired by three donors who recently established similar endowments.

Fred and Stephanie Harman made a $250,000 gift to support Guardian Scholars scholarships, which supports students from foster care, and the newly revamped New Student and Family Programs office, which oversees new student welcome days, move-in events and other programs that support students their first year.

William (’60) and Jane Reynolds (’68) have enhanced property rights curriculum at the Leeds School of Business with the creation of an endowment of just more than $2 million and an additional $1.2 million three-year operating support agreement. The new Hernando de Soto Capital Markets Program will explore different approaches to property rights across global markets.

The campus’ Legacy Brick program concluded May 15 with more than 2,500 students, parents, alumni, staff, friends and hundreds of first-time donors paving their name in history on campus through a personalized engraved brick on the new Buff Walk. Donors made more than $660,000 in gifts to benefit the CU Athletics Department’s Sustainable Excellence Initiative. Legacy Bricks will be installed on the Buff Walk, east of Folsom Field, in August.

CU Denver

The Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation’s grant of $435,500 to the School of Education and Human Development renews funding for the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program. It prepares educators to lead organizations that support the developmental needs of diverse children and families throughout Colorado.

The Colorado Health Foundation’s grant of $430,000 to the College of Architecture and Planning will fund a three-year pilot project for students, faculty and community members to study best principles of healthy community design and planning in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in Denver with a goal to establish a replicable model for urban and rural areas.

COPIC’s grant of $150,000 will provide scholarships for students in the Business School’s Executive Health Administration MBA program.

Pinnacol Assurance’s contribution of $700,000 to the Business School’s Risk Management and Insurance Program completed a $5 million commitment as a founding industry partner of the program that so far has 100 percent of its students finding employment after graduation.

At commencement, the campus recognized architect and developer Donald L. Johnson (’62) who received the University Medal for outstanding contributions to the College of Architecture and Planning. A founding member of the college’s advisory board, Don was instrumental in establishing a new bachelor’s of science in architecture and endowing a scholarship for Finnish students in pursuit of master of architecture degrees at CU Denver. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar, also attended commencement, celebrating the graduation of his son, Sheikh Nasser Al Thani, who received a bachelor’s of science from the Business School.


The Daniels Fund expanded ethics education funding to the UCCS College of Business through a four-year, $120,000 grant.

The 12th annual Unstoppable Women’s Luncheon on May 17 honored seven graduating KPWE scholarship recipients, with donors contributing more than $110,000 for KPWE. Read more.

Mary and Ed Osborne were recognized by the UCCS College of Business as recipients of the 2016 Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award. Nearly 400 community members gathered to celebrate not only the Osbornes’ business success but their tremendous generosity and philanthropy serving the Pikes Peak Region. Read more.