CU Denver Celebrates its Donors and their ImpactOct 6, 2023
This year’s event took place at Coohills restaurant in LoDo, and, in keeping with CU Denver’s strong sense of community, the celebration had the vibe of a large family gathering. As in past years, the event comprised a cocktail reception and brief program, allowing our most generous donors ample opportunity to interact with each other as well as with campus leadership, faculty, and staff, students. Among them were a group of students from the University Honors and Leadership program who enjoyed the chance to get to know the donors and share their student experiences.
Student Government Association President Bria Combs and Vice President Savannah Brooks emceed the program, which included remarks and gratitude from CU President Todd Saliman, CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks, and electrical engineering student Audrey Whitesell, who spoke about the impact of receiving scholarships and studying in CU Denver's quantum computing lab, which also benefits from philanthropic support.
Whitesell spoke about transferring to CU Denver after attending community college and another local university and about how much she appreciated finding her sense of place and community on our campus. She also drew a round of applause when mentioning that she was so impressed with her CU Denver experience that she persuaded her mother to enroll as well, and both are thriving.
Chancellor Marks, an avid hiker, likened the student experience to a hike, referencing the sense of discovery one experiences on the way to the summit. “It’s not just about reaching graduation day—it’s about the knowledge they’ve acquired along the way, the perspectives they’ve developed and come to appreciate, and the realization that when they commit to something, and put in enough effort, they can achieve whatever they set out to do,” she said in her remarks.
She continued the analogy to describe the impact that CU Denver’s philanthropic community has on the success of our students. “From the top of the climb, having earned their diplomas, they have a new vantage point from which a world of possibilities becomes apparent to them—possibilities for their careers, possibilities for their families, possibilities to take their futures in new directions,” she said. “Your support ensures that so many of our deserving students are afforded this experience.”