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2011 Media Releases

DU honors Joy Burns for her contributions to the University

May 3, 2011—Denver Businesswoman, Philanthropist, and Women's Sports Pioneer Joy S. Burns has been honored by the University of Denver for her many years of service to the University. DU Chancellor Robert Coombe and Daniels College of Business Dean Christine Riordan announced that the building housing the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management has been named the Joy Burns Center.

Burns and her late husband, Franklin L. Burns, are the namesakes and primary benefactors of several campus facilities and programs, including the Joy Burns Ice Arena in the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness, the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, and the Joy Burns Plaza at the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts. The Joy Burns Center will honor her three decades of service and commitment to DU and Daniels.

"Joy joined the University's Board of Trustees in 1981 and, over the past 30 years, she has helped the University to become the extraordinary institution that it is today," said Chancellor Coombe. "We are forever grateful for all she's done to strengthen and expand our academic programs, especially in the Daniels College of Business and to make our campus into one of the most beautiful in America."

Burns, a DU board member for 28 years, served as chairman from 1990 until 2005 and again from 2007 until Aug. 31, 2009.

Burns was one of the original founders of the Women's Bank in 1976 (which became Colorado Business Bank in 1993). She renovated the former Hampshire House into the Burnsley Hotel in the 1980s, was a founding member of the Women's Foundation of Colorado, and is the first woman to chair the Denver Metro Convention and Business Bureau. She is president of the D.C. Burns Realty & Trust Company and is one of the strongest advocates for women's athletics in Colorado.

"We would like to convey our deepest appreciation to Joy Burns for her involvement with and commitment to the Daniels College of Business and the University of Denver," said Dean Riordan. "Ultimately, the true legacy of Joy Burns will be our students and alumni who are the real standard bearers of her dedication to the University of Denver."

In addition to housing the Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, the Joy Burns Center is home to the Daniels Executive Education program and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. It also serves as a primary venue for many conferences and events on the DU campus.