CU continues record-setting private support: $386.3 million

Ken McConnellogue, 303-860-5626, [email protected] Jay Dedrick, 303-860-5707, [email protected]

DENVER – The University of Colorado set a new record in fundraising this year thanks to $386.3 million in private contributions.

Reflecting an increase of $1.8 million, the preliminary figure for fiscal year 2016-17 marks the eighth consecutive year in which CU has exceeded the previous annual total, setting records each time.

“I can’t overstate the value of support that CU receives from so many individuals, foundations and corporations,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “We have a vision of CU as one of the great public universities in the world. Our generous contributors make a direct impact on enhancing the high-quality academic and research enterprises at all four CU campuses.”

The total includes funds given through both the university and the University of Colorado Foundation, which is the primary portal for philanthropic giving to CU. Some 57,000 individuals, foundations and corporations made roughly 66,000 gifts to support student scholarships, facilities, research and more across the university.

Some examples of the impact of private support at CU during the 2016-17 fiscal year are:

  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus: Private support totaling $47.8 million is creating a traumatic brain injury institute and funding a mental health clinic for veterans. The Marcus Foundation – a philanthropic organization created by Bernard Marcus, retired co-founder of The Home Depot – committed $38 million over five years to establish the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at CU Anschutz. The institute serves military veterans with traumatic brain injury and related psychological health conditions. At the same time, in a partnership totaling $9.8 million, The Cohen Veterans Network is working with CU Anschutz to build a mental health clinic to serve veteran and military families in greater Denver with free or low-cost personalized care and integrated case management support. The network was founded by Steven A. Cohen, a hedge fund manager and philanthropist.
  • University of Colorado Boulder: A $10 million gift made this past fiscal year to the College of Engineering and Applied Science from passionate CU Boulder supporters Ann Smead and her husband, Michael Byram, is accelerating aerospace engineering on campus and strengthening Colorado’s aerospace economy. With support totaling more than $15 million over time, including the most recent $10 million gift, the family aims to set CU Boulder apart from its aerospace peers and propel it to the top of national rankings by attracting the best and brightest doctoral students and outstanding young faculty in aerospace engineering. These gifts are transformational for the college, the university and the state.
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs: A fundraising campaign for the Ent Center for the Arts was completed through a community effort to honor Chancellor Emerita Pam Shockley-Zalabak. More than 200 donors raised more than $1.5 million to name the center’s main theater in recognition of her 40-year legacy at the campus, 15 years as chancellor. This recent campaign – led by CU Regent Kyle Hybl and his wife, Sally – contributed to a total of more than $20 million in private support for the Ent Center for the Arts. Set to open in early 2018, the building will house five performance spaces, a contemporary arts gallery, academic spaces and more. 
  • University of Colorado Denver: The College of Arts and Media and the College of Engineering and Applied Science this year celebrated the launch of the Comcast Media and Technology Center, a new academic facility made possible by a $5 million gift from the Comcast Corp. The multidisciplinary academic center, located in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus, provides an opportunity to engage many audiences in collaborative activities focused on new approaches to research and development, media creation and content delivery.

About the CU System

The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. With more than 63,200 students (and another 8,000 taking courses for credit), over 4,900 full-time instructional faculty members and another 1,200 research faculty members, CU is the largest institution of higher education in the state of Colorado. CU’s annual budget is $4.1 billion. CU researchers attracted more than $924 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2015-16. The university’s Technology Transfer Office has helped launch more than 160 startups since 1994. Academic prestige is marked by CU’s five Nobel laureates, 10 MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 20 astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about the CU system, and to access campus resources, go to