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Andy and Barbara Taylor Give $20 Million to Support Students and Operations at DU’s Kennedy Mountain Campus

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Sarah Satterwhite

Senior Editor, Strategic Content and Storytelling

Announcement  •
Andy and Barbara Taylor

Barbara and Andy Taylor

Students at the University of Denver will experience a multitude of transformational leadership, exploration and community-building programs at the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus thanks to the generosity of Andy (BSBA ’70) and Barbara Taylor. The Taylors’ recent gift in support of programming and operations of the Kennedy Mountain Campus will ensure that DU students experience the holistic approach to education that is a hallmark of DU — the 4D Experience.

In recognition of their $20 million gift, DU will name the Andy and Barbara Taylor Upper Camp at the Kennedy Mountain Campus in their honor. The Taylor Upper Camp will become the central, physical hub for all student living, dining and activity at the mountain campus.  

“This significant gift from Andy and Barbara Taylor helps University of Denver students receive the education-defining experiences they need,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “Our James C. Kennedy Mountain campus is a cornerstone of DU’s unique 4D Experience, through which our students advance their intellectual growth, promote well-being, explore their character and pursue careers and lives of purpose. We are deeply grateful to the Taylors for their support of and investment in this holistic approach to education.”

Established in Fall 2021, the 724-acre Kennedy Mountain Campus allows DU to leverage nature as a medium for education and character exploration. DU is the only university in the country to offer all students learning experiences in both urban and mountain settings. The Kennedy Mountain Campus will enhance the student experience and provide programs that engage faculty and staff in learning, team-building and other development opportunities.

“When Jim Kennedy very generously provided the lead gift for the Kennedy Mountain Campus, Barbara and I immediately saw this as a game changer for DU – and we wanted to help support it,” says Andy Taylor. “Through the Mountain Campus, students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests will have access to a unique location to further explore and build their character and leadership, which will be invaluable to them in the future.”

In this unique natural environment approximately two hours northwest of DU’s Denver campus, students are immersed in DU’s holistic educational approach — the 4D Experience. The four integrated dimensions of advancing intellectual growth, exploring character, promoting well-being and pursuing careers of purpose guide every program and activity on the mountain, just as they do on the urban campus.

Programs of the Kennedy Mountain Campus, which are funded through the Taylors’ gift, will serve students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds and experience levels. They will find opportunities to connect with others, improve their well-being and establish leadership skills that will last a lifetime. Signature programs of the campus include the First-Year Student Experience, Outdoor Adventure and Leadership, Well-being and Recreation, and Sustainability and Stewardship.

The First-Year Student Experience is a fully inclusive, experiential program that brings incoming students together to develop connections, build community, be challenged as individuals and develop resilience that will be essential for education and everyday life.

Outdoor Adventure and Leadership includes a suite of leadership development experiences, developed in partnership with Colorado Outward Bound, that will provide students the opportunity to explore and grow as individuals and in teams. Students will travel to the Kennedy Mountain Campus throughout the year in conjunction with a wide variety of leadership programs, including the Pioneer Leadership Program, student government, fraternity and sorority life, living and learning communities and more.

Well-being and Recreation programs make the most of the pristine natural environment, offering students ample opportunity to re-energize, restore and recharge. Wellness and accessible recreation programs will help students discover healthy and lasting ways of stepping back from the hustle of daily life in order to thrive.

Sustainability and Stewardship programs range from field study integrated with academic coursework to hands-on opportunities to give back through trail restoration and other environmental stewardship — showcasing excellence in sustainability practices and experiential education in this unique location.

“The Taylors’ visionary gift will pave the way for the DU community to experience all that the Kennedy Mountain Campus has to offer,” says Todd Adams, vice chancellor of student affairs. “Their investment in the operations and programs ensures that the 4D Experience will be accessible to all, giving our students the immersive mountain experience that complements and enhances their academic and co-curricular pursuits.”

The Taylors’ investment in these and other programs, in addition to the operational functions of the campus, will provide immediate and endowed funding to ensure that the Kennedy Mountain Campus will forever be a key programmatic tool for the holistic education of DU students. Andy Taylor and James C. Kennedy, for whom the Kennedy Mountain Campus is named, were classmates during their time at DU.

Andy and Barbara Taylor are long-time supporters of the University, and their most recent gift extends their enduring commitment to the student experience. In 2012, their generosity established the Taylor Family Undergraduate Career Center in Daniels College of Business, and their significant gifts to scholarships provide opportunities to undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds. Andy Taylor’s commitment to student success is also evident in his volunteer efforts with Daniels College of Business. In 2016, DU presented him with the John Evans Award, the University’s highest alumni award at the time, in recognition of his outstanding achievement, humanitarian service and demonstrated commitment to DU.

Taylor is executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings, parent company of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. His leadership of the company, one of the largest private companies in the country, has earned accolades from the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders, Business Travel Hall of Fame, and Harvard Business Review, among others.