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Philanthropy in 2022 Propels DU Forward

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Sarah Satterwhite

Senior Editor, Strategic Content and Storytelling

Gifts during record-breaking fundraising year strengthen impact throughout campus

Announcement  •
Mary Reed Building

Visionary generosity is propelling the University of Denver forward, providing unparalleled opportunities for our students and making a meaningful difference in our communities. The University celebrates our many donors and the impact of their combined giving, which surpassed $106 million in fundraising commitments for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022 – a historic record for DU.

“This has been an exceptional year for the University of Denver,” noted Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “I am sincerely grateful to each and every donor who, through their support, has ensured DU can continue to provide an exceptional, 4D Experience to our students, as well as conduct the research and deepen the community partnerships that make a difference in lives here in Denver and beyond. It’s an honor and privilege to have these ‘votes of confidence’ from our alums, friends and supporters.”

In every school, college and unit across campus, from single-digit dollar amounts to transformational investments in the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus – this generosity from more than 14,000 donors is transforming DU, providing access and opportunity for students, powering essential research and fueling the knowledge creation and community partnerships that are at the heart of DU’s dedication to the public good.


Expanding Student Opportunity

Donors’ continuing investment created and expanded significant opportunities for students to attend DU through scholarships, to gain professional experience through internships, to learn and lead in nature, and to advance their education through the 4D Experience, DU’s signature program of advancing intellectual growth, exploring character, promoting well-being and pursuing lives and careers of purpose.

At the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus, students are expanding transformational leadership and community-building knowledge and skills in an ideal natural setting. Named for alumnus James C. Kennedy (BSBA ’70), the 724-acre new campus allows DU to leverage nature as a medium for education and character exploration. Andy (BSBA ’70) and Barbara Taylor’s recent gift in support of programming and operations of the Kennedy Mountain Campus ensures that DU students of all backgrounds experience DU’s holistic approach to education.

Gifts to scholarships, a top philanthropic priority, enable our students to prepare for their career aspirations through educational and internship opportunities. With gifts to scholarships and fellowships reaching nearly $15 million last year, donors amplified the strength and diversity of our student body and opened the doors to DU for many who otherwise would not have been able to attend.

In the Daniels College of Business, hospitality students will receive a dynamic education because of the scholarship established by Michael Morton (BSBA ’87).  Graduate finance students benefit from mentoring and an endowed scholarship fund established by Russell Noles (MBA ’89).

In the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, undergraduate students in the Media, Film & Journalism Studies program will receive scholarship support thanks to the Steinke Family’s establishment of the Doris Davenport Steinke Pathways Endowed Scholarship Fund.

In the Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science, students from diverse backgrounds will be able to study engineering and computer science thanks to an endowed gift to establish a graduate teaching fellowship from alumnus Vivek Vaidya (MS ’98).


Powering Knowledge Creation & the Public Good

In addition to creating opportunities for students, donors’ generosity continues to advance the University’s commitment to the public good. Some of DU’s most innovative initiatives with immediate connection to the Denver community and beyond – those involving research and community connection – are fueled through their vision and generosity.

The Liniger Center on Franchising will become a hub of learning and networking for current franchisors and franchisees, those who want to franchise their business, and students, alumni and community members who hope to pursue a career in franchising. Made possible through a gift from Dave and Gail Liniger, pioneers of the franchise industry and founders of RE/MAX, the Liniger Center will be housed in the Daniels College of Business.

The Center for Animal Sentience and Protection will expand the scientific and social-scientific understanding of the cognitive and emotional capabilities of nonhuman animals and advance the protection of animals resulting from this evolving understanding. Made possible through a gift from Dr. Robert Brinkmann, the Institute will be a collaboration between the Graduate School of Social Work and Sturm College of Law.

DU’s collaboration with National Jewish Health, begun during the COVID-19 pandemic, is strengthened through a gift from alumnus Lewis Hoch (BA ’74, JD ’77). His investment in inter-institutional research advances science by providing funding for researchers to conduct research, gather data for a year, and potentially leverage those findings in applying for additional funding streams from national foundations.

DU’s School of Accountancy has a new partnership with Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit organization focused on financial reporting in government agencies. Made possible by a generous donation from Daniels College of Business alumni Jack (BSBA ’79) and Sheila Weinberg (BSBA ‘79), this partnership will enhance Daniels’ longstanding commitment to teaching ethical leadership.

Faculty and students across DU now have access to new works in the University Art Collection thanks to recent donations. These pieces can be used in teaching and research, and they include pieces that have added to our DU Artists Initiative, illuminated medieval manuscripts, and 18th century watercolors and botanical prints.


Investing in the Student-Athlete Experience

After winning the 2022 Men’s Hockey National Championship last spring, becoming just one of two Division I schools in the country to have won nine NCAA national championships, DU hockey alumnus David Paderski (BSBA ’66) established a new endowed fund in memory of legendary coach Murray Armstrong to enhance the student-athlete experience and provide resources for the DU Men’s Hockey program.

Student-athletes will also receive greater support for both their physical performance and mental health through the Center for Sport & Human Development in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Made possible by a gift from Sheila Walker, the Center will address mental health and burnout issues that can be detrimental to athletes’ health and performance.


Strength in Numbers

Broad support across the entire DU community is demonstrated through the many ways donors and volunteers make a significant difference in the lives of our students, the research conducted by our faculty, and the community partnerships with immediate impact in Denver and beyond.

On 1Day4DU, 2,790 donors gave more than $1.1 million to a multitude of projects that touched nearly every area of the DU experience. With nearly 2,000 gifts of $100 or less, and more than 1,000 gifts ranging between $5 and $50 – alumni, faculty and staff, parents, students, trustees and friends of DU demonstrated the tremendous difference gifts of all sizes can make.

Internships and student opportunity funds were among the highlights of 1Day4DU’s projects, raising nearly $50,000 for the Josef Korbel School Internship Fund and nearly $50,000 for the Law Student Opportunity Fund. Morgridge College of Education, the Graduate School of Social Work and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences also raised significant funds for student support.

Throughout the year, 1,812 volunteers, including more than 1,500 alumni, gave of their time and talent to help advance our mission by supporting programs, classroom and community experiences and sharing their knowledge and expertise.  

Additionally, the DU Career Network had 1,273 active volunteer mentors providing support and guidance to 3,315 mentees. The dynamic online networking space,, provides multiple avenues for the DU community to interact and offer career support.

“The generosity of our community this year has enabled significant advances for priorities across DU,” said Val Otten, senior vice chancellor for advancement. “We are grateful to the many donors whose gifts to student support, research with direct impact, interdisciplinary initiatives and more are making a measurable difference on our campus and for the good of our community.”

Gifts to DU make our students’ dreams of a DU education possible and empower our ability to make a difference for the public good. Learn more at