President Bruce Benson
As we walked past the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D. C., on our way to an alumni event at the Library of Congress, a gentleman noticed my CU lapel pin and asked if we were from the university. I introduced myself and asked if he was an alumnus. No, he said, but his late brother graduated from our law school, so he was on his way to our event.
David Barash told me the story of his brother, Dan, who loved the outdoors, particularly the Rocky Mountains, and treasured his time at CU. After graduation in 2002, he pursued his passion and became a public defender in Colorado Springs before his untimely death at age 30. David and his family decided to honor Dan by creating the Daniel Barash Scholarship Fund to support students with demonstratied interest in criminal defense work.
When I asked how much was in the fund, I was shocked by the answer: $750,000. Most memorial scholarship funds never approach that. I half-jokingly offered David a job in the CU Foundation, our fundraising partner. He laughed and declined, and said he was just happy to support students, honor his brother and work with the fundraisers in the law school to continue to grow the fund.
The Barash story may be atypical of memorial funds, but it reflects the passion and commitment our university engenders from alumni, friends and donors. So it comes as no surprise that CU once again broke its annual record for fundraising. Three weeks ago, we announced that in fiscal year 2011-12, we brought in $228.5 million in private support, handily breaking the previous record of $213 million, set the year before. The record-setting totals put us on track to meet the $1.5 billion goal of our Creating Futures campaign, which we publicly announced in April 2011. We have attracted some $1.2 billion in support to date.
Private support is an increasingly important part of our success. State funding continues to dwindle and is down to about $141 million this year. Money raised by the CU Foundation and funds provided by foundations, individuals and corporations for research projects benefit people, programs and places at CU, making us a stronger institution. However, it's important to note that private support cannot be diverted to our operational needs (compensation, technology, utilities, etc.). More than 98 percent of private funding is earmarked by the donor.
Still, this critical funding stream adds substantial value to CU. It does so on every campus. Private funds support groundbreaking research in stem cells and cancer treatment and prevention at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. They endow faculty positions that bring the best and brightest to CU classrooms from Colorado Springs to Denver. They help us build facilities where our scientists and scholars create the future, such as the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on our Boulder campus. They provide crucial support for students through efforts such as the Daniel Barash Scholarship Fund.
The first recipient of the Barash Scholarship, David Brown, received $1,000 in 2004. The 2011 recipients, Yona Porat and Jake Taufer, each received $13,000. The 2012 recipients, who will be annouced soon, will each receive $14,000. Of the 13 recipients since its inception, 11 are public defenders. All engage in pro-bono work or public service. It's a fitting tribute to Dan Barash's legacy.
The Barash Scholarship story is one of thousands made possible by the generous support of our donors. All those stories have a common thread – a passion for a university we all know changes lives and makes the world a better place.
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