“I hope that our scholarship gives these young women an opportunity to get an education that they might not otherwise have the funds to receive.”
Ann Spector Lieff ’74
Ann Spector Lieff (BA ’74) grew up the daughter of an entrepreneur. Her father, Martin Spector, owned Spec’s Music—record shops that were a staple in the Miami music scene. Spector Lieff worked weekends and summers in the stores, and she always thought she’d be a businesswoman.
Still, when she headed west for the first time in her life to attend the University of Denver, Spector Lieff studied sociology.
“As it turns out, having a liberal arts background was very helpful in business,” Spector Lieff says. “You look at things a little differently.”
Spector Lieff graduated and immediately returned to help her father. “When I graduated, it was a small business, very entrepreneurial, with maybe four or five stores,” she says. “With my help, we started to expand and one thing led to another. We decided to take it public.”
In 1998, the company was named one of America’s Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses by Working Woman magazine. Later that year, she and her father sold the company to Camelot Music and Spector Lieff launched her own consulting company.
Along the way, she stayed involved with DU and was increasingly excited about her alma mater’s future under then-Chancellor Dan Ritchie’s leadership. Equally excited, Spector Lieff’s father came up with the idea of starting a scholarship for women studying in the Daniels College of Business.
The Spector-Lieff Endowed Scholarship Fund was born in 1997 and annually supports undergraduate students—predominantly women—who are chosen on the basis of academic merit, financial need, leadership and community work.
“The support I receive from Ann is truly something I couldn’t get through school without,” says senior international business major Alexandra Mikros, who works three jobs and holds a 3.67 GPA. “Her assistance has given me the option to afford an education that I couldn’t get on my own.”
That’s exactly what Spector Lieff and her father hoped to provide. “I hope that our scholarship gives these young women an opportunity to get an education that they might not otherwise have the funds to receive,” Spector Lieff says. “Once they have an education, they can do great things. No one can take away an education.”