donor-stolfus.jpg

“Music is something we've always shared," Ann says. "We enjoy our close, ongoing relationship with the school. We have many friends there and I've also encouraged several students to attend DU who were equally enthusiastic about their experience at our University.”

Bill and Ann Stolfus

Bill Stolfus (BSBA 1956, MBA 1964) and Ann Richardson (BA 1956) met as members of DU's concert and marching band in the fall of 1952. Today they unite in a fanfare to the institution and the art form that brought them together. Ann and Bill have made a variety of significant gifts for current benefit and have also included the University of Denver in their estate plans.

While in the band Bill and Ann both played saxophoneshe on baritone and he on tenor. "And she was better than I," laughs Bill as he remembers their days as eager musicians.

"Part of our gift goes to outstanding music students; we also hope to help call attention to Lamont within the Denver community. We both love the school and the quality of students at Lamont is just amazing," Bill explained.

As students, Bill was a music major specializing in piano and Ann was a mass communications major. They both lived in campus housing so they saw each other often and quickly developed a close relationship.

They continued to date for their first two years at DU but eventually lost track of one another when they each stopped playing in the band. Bill also switched his major to business which meant much of his time was spent downtown where the business school was located at the time.

After graduating, Ann worked in Denver television before moving to New York City, where she was the associate producer of Candid Camera and later worked with Jim Henson on Muppet films for Sesame Street. Ann retired from the TV industry in 1974, moved back to Denver and accepted a position as alumni director for DU, a title she held until 1980.

Meanwhile Bill joined the service immediately following graduation and later returned to Denver, beginning a career in the oil and gas industry. During this time he also attended night classes at DU's business college, earning an MBA in 1964. His career transitioned into higher-education administration and he worked at Colorado State University for 20 years, serving in many capacities including associate vice president of finance. After leaving the university he served as president of CollegeInvest before retiring in 2000.

In 1996, more than 40 years after their first date, Ann and Bill reconnected. Ann was serving on the 40th reunion committee for the Class of '56 and she noticed Bill's name on her to-call list. In the subsequent phone conversation they discovered they had been living a mere 12 blocks away from one another. A lunch date was made and they began to develop a close relationship again.

One day, Ann asked Bill, "Is this going where I think it is?" Bill smiled and said, "Yes." Coincidentally, both sets of their parents had married on the date of September 29, so it only seemed fitting that Ann and Bill follow suit in 2002. They will celebrate their sixth anniversary this year.

Share
Ascend — The Campaign for the University of Denver