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$14 Million Gift Establishes Scrivner Institute of Public Policy

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Theresa Ahrens

Doug and Mary Scrivner invest in faculty, scholarships and programs to advance interdisciplinary public policy solutions

Announcement  •
Doug and Mary Scrivner

The University of Denver today announced a $14 million gift from longtime friends, Doug (JD ’77) and Mary Scrivner of Los Altos Hills, California, in support of public policy and to lay critical groundwork for creating and growing leadership in collaborative, innovative solutions to some of the largest societal issues and challenges of the day. To honor their transformational support, the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy will be named in their honor. Doug and Mary are also pledging an additional $1 million to support program and initiatives that advance our mission. These generous gifts are part of a $16.2 million commitment from the Scrivners in support of DU’s upcoming comprehensive campaign.

“Doug and Mary have been champions for the University of Denver for many years, providing support and expertise in countless meaningful ways,” said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “Their generosity in establishing the Scrivner Institute represents a visionary leap forward in connecting academic excellence across disciplines with practical expertise to solve the greatest issues facing our society. We are immensely grateful for their partnership as together we envision and create a bold future for the University of Denver.”

The Scrivners’ gift, building on decades of involvement in and support of DU, is a particularly significant commitment as the University prepares for the public launch of a major campaign that will bring its bold vision for the future of higher education into reality. As expressed in its strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025, the University is committed to addressing the world’s most pressing problems — problems that increasingly demand broad academic collaboration. As DU endeavors to re-define higher education in this 21st century era of collaboration, public policy teaching, research and scholarship will figure centrally.

The Scrivner Institute of Public Policy will continue the University of Denver’s longstanding practice of infusing ethics and leadership into curriculum. The Institute will combine an academic research focus with practitioner experience and contribution, and it will incorporate data sciences and analytics to broaden the ways in which public policy issues are studied and addressed.

The Scrivners’ commitment will endow the current public policy program by providing funding for an endowed chair, professorships, fellowships, scholarships and programmatic priorities, enabling the Institute to attract, retain and grow top teaching and research talent while ensuring an exceptional, wide-ranging student experience that prepares DU graduates for rewarding careers and engaged citizenship.

“The University of Denver has long been an important part of Mary’s and my life, from meeting and marrying here to serving on the Board of Trustees and in numerous other ways,” said Doug Scrivner. “We recognize that this university has a unique interdisciplinary excellence and an ability and opportunity to affect real change in some of the most crucial arenas of our society. We are thrilled to emphasize our legacy here at DU through the Scrivner Institute, knowing that the knowledge created here, combined with an exceptional student experience, will impact our world in countless ways for the years to come.”

The Scrivners’ visionary gift reflects their longstanding love of the University of Denver. Doug and Mary married in Evans Chapel on his graduation day from law school. Doug has served the University in a number of leadership capacities over the years, including serving on the University’s Board of Trustees for many years and chairing the Board from 2014-2018. During his tenure as Board Chair, he worked closely with Chopp to pursue and begin implementing the University’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025. Scrivner has been a champion of transforming the student experience and better connecting our campus community to the city of Denver and Colorado.

Over the past year he was instrumental in guiding the Board and University in a campus master planning process that produced the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan. The Framework Plan focuses on the University’s commitment to create a campus designed to fuel collaborations and relationships proven to help students succeed during their time at the University and beyond.

He also chaired the Visiting Committee and has served as an adjunct professor at Sturm College of Law, and he served as a member of the Advisory Board of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers at the Institute for Advancing the American Legal System on which he serves as a member of the executive committee. Mr. Scrivner also served on the executive committee of University of Denver’s Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise.

“Doug’s service to the University, particularly as Chair of the Board of Trustees, is a source of inspiration to many,” said Jeremy Haefner, provost and executive vice chancellor. “Through this gift, he and Mary are demonstrating a remarkable commitment to the University’s vision of designing an education that meets the issues of the day with smart, informed solutions.”

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