DU's First-Year Residence Hall Receives $5M Gift From Dimond Family Foundation
The Dimond Family Foundation has donated a $5 million gift to the University of Denver for its new first-year residence hall, which will be named the Dimond Family Residential Village. The first-year residence hall is one of three buildings currently being rolled out as the first phase of the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan. The Residential Village will provide student housing designed to create a strong sense of belonging and community among the University’s 1,500 first-year students.
The Denver Advantage is about designing a campus to fuel the collaborations and relationships proven to help students succeed, now and throughout their lives. It grows out of the University’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025, and the commitment to educate students holistically and prepare them to lead diverse organizations and communities.
"Navin and Rita have been supporters of the University of Denver for many years," said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. "The Dimond Family Residential Village represents the commitment of Navin and Rita and indeed the entire Dimond family to creating community and meaningful experiences for our students. We are immensely grateful for their philanthropy and dedication to the University."
The Residential Village will celebrate its formal groundbreaking on March 25 with the announcement of the Dimond Family Foundation gift. The 130,000-square-foot residence hall will provide housing for 500 first-year students as well as a series of campus-serving programs. The project is planned to open in fall 2020. While DU has a two-year live on requirement, the University is finding that more upper-level students are also wanting to live on campus. The Residential Village is one step in helping to create more openings for those students.
The Dimond Family Foundation represents the steadfast philanthropic pursuits of Navin and Rita Dimond, the founders of Stonebridge Companies, and their two daughters, Ashley and Sonja. The Denver-based, privately owned, innovative hotel owner, operator and developer is one of the nation’s leading hospitality companies and features a portfolio of 60 hotels across the nation under the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Four Seasons brands.
Navin Dimond has a strong history with the University of Denver, having earned his MBA from its Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management in 1986. Dimond is also an active member of the university’s Board of Trustees.
“Our family continues to be inspired by the next generation of leaders and we very much appreciate the opportunity to give back to the entire University of Denver community in this way,” said Navin and Rita Dimond. “Our family believes giving is much better than receiving, and one of our most important responsibilities is to support students as they pursue their education.”
Involvement in the local communities that Stonebridge serves remains a core value to Dimond and his family’s foundation. Dimond has a longstanding passion for and history of supporting education, also serving on the Foundation Board for Metropolitan State University of Denver and having established the Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014. This program provides students preparing for careers in the hospitality industry with access to training and apprenticeship opportunities. Dimond also received the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation’s Dream Maker Award in 2014, earning recognition for his commitment to quality education and its enduring impact on area youth.