University of Colorado Foundation

Working Together Towards a Stronger CU

Great things are happening at CU, thanks to our talented faculty and staff. Your work helps CU create inspiring futures throughout our state and around the world. As a result, donors recently have invested in the university in record numbers. Even these past eight months, our 17 percent increase in donors has bucked a national trend of negative economic news.

But we're hardly immune from today's economic challenges. With high-impact gifts more difficult to come by, we must increase our outreach and intensify our advocacy for the university's value among our friends and neighbors. And who better to advocate for CU than the faculty and staff who work on the university's behalf?

With that, the CU Foundation is introducing a new quarterly communiqué for members of the CU family, with regular updates on:

  • People within and beyond the university whose passions fuel our future
  • Stories about programs and initiatives that have recently garnered support
  • Ways in which we raise funds and manage endowment assets to ensure a dynamic, secure future for CU

During this critical time for funding, we want you to be part of the conversation about how private support can help forge a stronger university. Through Creating Futures, we will strive to make important connections, for the betterment of all whose lives are touched by CU.

Bruce D. Benson, President, University of Colorado, J. Wayne Hutchens, President, University of Colorado Foundation

Bruce D. Benson, President, University of Colorado

J. Wayne Hutchens, President, University of Colorado Foundation

Fundraising History

Supercharge Your Fundraising!

By installing a "Give Now" button on your department, college, or alumni Web page, you can make it easier to generate funds for your programs. The button can link directly to the CU Foundation website's online giving area. It's simple: to get started, contact

Supercharge Your Fundraising!

From the Heart: A Dean Invests in Faculty

Dean Lynn RhodesA no-strings-attached-mini-MacArthur Fellows grant will soon be a reality thanks to the generosity of Dean Lynn Rhodes, who has created an endowment of $25,000 to establish the first faculty award at the School of Education & Human Development, UC Denver.

"I don't know why I didn't do this before," Rhodes said. "It's incredibly easy. I'm making payments, deducted from my monthly check."

The award will provide an annual unrestricted gift to a faculty member who has an exceptional record and who has made a significant difference to the School and/or its community.

"It is important for deans to say, through monetary recognition, 'I appreciate what you do.' And it's important for faculty to know that their leaders notice their energy and commitment, especially when it goes above and beyond what is expected," Rhodes said. There will be no application, no strings attached. The School's dean will choose a faculty member who is an exceptional, committed leader, and helps the School move into the future. This work takes time, courage, and commitment."

Rhodes began her academic career at UC Denver in 1978 as an assistant professor and was the 14th faculty member to join the School. Now there are more than 50 faculty. Motivated by her own long history on the faculty and observing how much the School gains from positive faculty leadership, she wanted to do something lasting for the School that has been her work home for so long.

The Lynn K. Rhodes Faculty Award will be fully funded in less than five years, and the first annual award can be made at that point to an excellent faculty member who goes above and beyond–someone who selflessly takes on an informal or formal leadership role that lends expertise and energy to help faculty make a difference.

"Increasingly, an important part of my role as dean is fundraising," Rhodes said. "And now that I've made this financial commitment to the School, it's easier to encourage others to give to our faculty and our students. I know how great it feels," she said.

Gifts in Brief: Donors Making an Impact

Gifts in BriefUCCS: A $100,000 Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation grant will support outreach at UCCS's Beth-El Nursing and Health Sciences, enabling rural Lamar Community College to "grow its own" nursing faculty.

UCB: CU Foundation board chair Jeannie Thompson's own research-lab work inspired a $2 million gift toward a new Vaccine Development Laboratory in the Biotechnology Building, from Jeannie and her husband, Jack.

UCD Anschutz Medical Campus: An anonymous donor gave $3 million to the College of Nursing to establish an endowment for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Program. The gift will support advanced practice nurses committed to meeting the mental health needs of Coloradans.

UCD Downtown Campus: Robert and Viola Reynolds' passion for global business resulted in a bequest to fund a $1.5 million endowed chair, the Business School's first. The gift is the largest in the school's history.

CU Foundation Endowment:

Outperforming benchmarks in good times and bad

Outperforming Benchmarks

Given the recent turmoil in world financial markets, you'd have to have nerves of steel to not feel a bit shaken by our unsteady economy. Like everyone else, the University of Colorado Foundation's endowment has felt the impact of the downturn. Yet, it's reassuring to know that our endowment's performance has been appreciably better than the overall market and most other endowment portfolios. While the total endowment has declined, it has performed very well over the long term.

"Our endowment performance for 2008 was down 24.3 percent," says Foundation Chief Investment Officer Chris Bittman. "Though very painful, this performance is fortunately not nearly as bad as the S&P 500, which lost 37.0 percent for the same period."

Bittman says CU's endowment has outperformed the U.S. stock market materially for the trailing 1, 3, 5, and 10-year periods, with less risk than the market for each time period. It has also outperformed 97 percent of its peer group for the last 5 years ending Dec. 31, 2008.


University of Colorado Foundation