Metropolitan State University of Denver Foundation will officially take over leadership of the Hart Center for Public Service on April 30. Launched by former Colorado U.S. Sen. Gary Hart and his family, colleagues and long-time supporters, the center aims to inspire future leaders in public service. To meet this goal, the nonprofit organization originally partnered with MSU Denver to engage with faculty members and students and encourage them to participate more directly in U.S. democracy.  

After successfully incubating this mission and working with the University to inspire students to consider public-service careers through internships and other programming, the Hart Center’s board determined that this work can be accomplished more economically and effectively by having MSU Denver own and carry out the program. 

For this reason, the Hart Center for Public Service board has voted to merge the work of the Hart Center into the University and dissolve its separate 501(c)(3) fundraising structure, effective April 30. This decision will: 

  • Build and better align interdisciplinary academic programming in support of public service. 
  • Make public-service programming more efficient and financially sustainable.  
  • Integrate fundraising efforts into the MSU Denver Foundation.  
  • Eliminate administrative expenses associated with maintaining a separate nonprofit operation. 

“I want to emphasize to those who have supported the Hart Center as well as students and faculty who hope to benefit from it that the center’s mission will continue and is in great hands here at MSU Denver,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “The center’s work and accomplishments to date serve as a solid foundation for the University, which will continue to provide the tools that will enable our students to pursue public-service careers through real-world experience in addition to their work in the classroom.” 

Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

MSU Denver will build on the initiatives that have been incubated through the previous Hart Center partnership, including both local paid internships and the Presidential Federal Internship in Public Service, which provides MSU Denver students with the opportunity to spend the summer working with high-profile public servants in Washington, D.C. The MSU Denver Foundation will help the University scale these programs by incorporating the goals into the University’s fundraising-campaign strategy. 

Hart is in full support of the transition as the University advances his vision for a nation of engaged citizens committed to promoting the values and principles of our democracy through public service.