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Over 19,500 Supporters Give More than $78 Million to the University of Denver

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Fiscal year 2017-2018 is one of the most successful in DU’s history

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Thanks to the generosity of more than 19,500 supporters, the University of Denver celebrated one of the most successful years of fundraising and engagement in its 154-year history as alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends contributed over $78 million.

Fiscal year 2017-2018 (July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018) marked DU’s most successful fundraising year without a major capital project, signifying the deep commitment of the entire community and the efforts of faculty, students and staff.

“DU provides an exceptional student experience, serves the public good and pursues scholarship to help solve society’s biggest challenges. The generosity we receive is a direct result of our commitment to that mission and our values,” said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “We continually strive to earn the philanthropy and engagement of our community and create impactful experiences and opportunities for our students, faculty, staff and friends. I am deeply grateful to everyone who donated, volunteered their time, attended our events or helped serve our students this year or any year. We are one community, OneDU.”

Philanthropic support included significantly more first-time gifts as well as 14 gifts of $1 million or greater, demonstrating broad support of Chancellor Chopp’s vision for the University’s future. Examples of impact included:

  • Arts and Technology: Dr. Dennis Law and his mother, Loretta Law, gave $20 million to establish the innovative and transformational Joseph and Loretta Law Institute of Arts and Technology.
  • Scholarships: Through a gift of $5 million, Joseph and Sharon Saunders established the Saunders Leadership Academy — the largest-ever endowed gift in support of scholarships at DU — within the Denver Promise scholarship program.
  • Crowdfunding: DU’s crowdfunding program, DU Good, provided a platform for donors to come together to advance numerous high-impact projects, such as Right Foot Forward, a program that matches veterans at DU with industry professionals based on the veterans’ career aspirations.
  • Community Partnership: The Denver Tennis Park — a $14 million public-private partnership between DU, Denver Tennis Park, Inc. (a non-profit serving Denver's youth) and Denver Public Schools — received two gifts of $1 million by DU trustee Catherine “Cappy” Shopneck and her husband, Robert, and former trustee Jane Hamilton.

“The support of so many alumni and friends brings innovation to life at the University of Denver,” said Denise O’Leary, chair of the University of Denver Board of Trustees. “As we are creating new collaborations across fields of study and establishing innovative ways to make a difference in our city, the profound generosity of alumni and friends helps us dream boldly and ensure those dreams will become reality.”

DU has focused on building an enduring culture of philanthropy and global engagement. One of the highlights from the year, said Armin Afsahi, vice chancellor for Advancement at DU, was record student philanthropy. “A third of our undergraduate students, including every student athlete, gave to support the DU mission. A culture of philanthropy is growing here at DU, and it’s exemplified by the generosity of our students, as well as our faculty and staff who believe so deeply in the mission.”

Additional highlights from Fiscal Year 2017-2018 included:

  • Nearly 26,000 alumni and friends engaged with DU by attending events and donating.
  • Nearly 40 percent of faculty and staff donated to DU—a rate exceeding many other universities.
  • Over 2,800 donors combined to give more than $500,000 on One Day for DU (May 23), making it the most successful One Day in DU history.
  • DU opened new offices across the country to provide alumni and friends greater opportunities to connect with the University. Offices are now up and running in New York City, Boston, District of Columbia, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

“The DU community is vast and full of passionate individuals connected to the University and this region in so many different ways,” said Chopp. “Through their support—and especially the support of our alumni—DU helps to advance Denver and the state we are proud to call home. The foundation for a historic transformation at DU is now in place, and we look forward to building on it.”