University Advancement - Giving to MSU Denver
Donors are making a difference
During these extraordinary times, donors keep hope alive for MSU Denver students.
By Lynne Winter ‘17
Like so many of us, the effects of COVID-19 have dramatically impacted the lives of MSU Denver students and their families. When the campus closed in March, many of them wondered how they would be successful without access to the necessities they depend on– computers, internet access, food, jobs and more. A shadow of uncertainty loomed over the heads of our most vulnerable community members.
The University called upon the Roadrunner community to make a difference in our student's lives. Donors responded with impactful gifts to the Student Emergency Fund and the Roadrunner Food Pantry, making it possible for our students to not only survive but thrive during these challenging times.
Between March 1 and May 27, 410 donors made 500 gifts totaling $162,469 to the Student Emergency Fund, and 73 donors made 79 gifts totaling $10,104 to the Roadrunner Food Pantry.
Those funds are fulfilling an ever-increasing need for financial assistance. Between March 16 and April 29, the Student Emergency Fund received 250 applications requesting more than $190,000 for help with rent/mortgage, medical expenses, utilities and more. During the same timeframe, the fund distributed $90,525.60 to 121 approved applications. While not currently open, the Roadrunner Food Bank is serving students by providing them with electronic gift cards, while supplies last.
Each day, we receive new, urgent requests for support. The generosity of our donors makes it possible for students to rely on the Student Emergency Fund and the Roadrunner Food Pantry for the assistance they need to focus on taking care of themselves, their families and their educational goals.
Whether students are facing challenging circumstances due to the loss of income, the passing of a loved one a medical emergency, all Roadrunners deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams. We are thankful to donors for supporting our students during this critical time. Because of you, our students can continue to reimagine all that is possible with their future.
Roadrunners take care of Roadrunners. It's what we do.
For more information about the Student Emergency Fund or the Roadrunner Food Pantry, contact Bre Milnes, director of annual giving.
By Valeria Quiroz, journalism, May 2022
I come from Venezuela, the land of beautiful women and eternal tropic – as some people say. I grew up surrounded by a huge family in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone.
My dad worked as a lawyer for 20 years and had a well-known reputation in his field. However, having a successful law career in Venezuela comes with great risk. There were many enemies lurking, waiting for him to make the wrong move. The corruption of the government and the justice system endangered my dad’s and my family’s safety. He decided to move to the United States after he was incarcerated for eight hours.
The moment my dad arrived in the U.S. with my stepmom and younger siblings, he set in motion a plan to have me and my other two siblings join them. On May 4, 2015, he accomplished this goal. It was a cold, spring night when my siblings and I arrived in the U.S. We left behind not only our lives, but also our mom – not knowing when we would see her again.
Since then, I have been living in a constant state of anxiety for my future and my family. I had to learn a new language and adapt to a different culture; I saw my younger sister cry more than once out of despair and frustration for not understanding a word in her classes. I had to be strong for her.
I had to be strong for my dad, too. He has told me multiple times that I gave up the right to be a normal teenager the moment I accepted coming to the U.S. I do not regret it. It has given me so many opportunities and allowed me to meet wonderful people. But my life has changed because of the uncertainty and absence of identity I face as an asylum seeker.
As one of many asylum seekers, there are experiences particular to our situation. The uncertainty we live in affects everything we do and every choice we make. Our stability is disrupted because we lack a sense of belonging. Asylum seekers don’t belong in the country we left behind or the one we currently reside in. Even though we have a work permit that must be renewed every two years, there is no safety in our status. We are still waiting for the interview that will decide whether we stay in this country. I don’t feel like I am 100% Venezuelan since my family members are the only people from my culture I interact with, but I’m not American, either.
This is my existence. My struggle.
During my high school years, I had a hard time truly connecting with people; however, I never forgot why I was here. I was determined to finish and go to college.
When I started to work for the MSU Denver Scholarship Success Team the summer before my first semester in college, I finally found a sense of belonging, and in a sense, of hope that I will earn my bachelor's degree. I soon became aware of all the opportunities for involvement and scholarships, and I met extraordinary people who helped me through the fear and anxiety of starting this new phase in my life.
MSU Denver gave me the financial and emotional support that no other institution offered. I am strongly involved on campus as a sister of the Associate Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma, I participate in the annual Illuminate event – a one-day community service experience for students – and I worked as an orientation leader during the summer. As of now, I am the recipient of a few privately funded scholarships, including the Salazar Family Scholarship and Frances A. Melrose Foundation Annual Scholarship, plus grants and work-study.
The vast support systems I have discovered as a scholar still overwhelms me sometimes.
If it was not for these scholarships, I do not know where I would be today. I rely on them to pay for school, and I am beyond grateful for them. My scholarships help take the economic burden of being a full-time student and having two jobs to help pay bills at home off my shoulders. It means the world to me. I am not only able to continue my education, but also to be part of other students’ support system as a peer advocate. Every day, it drives me to do my best – and more – in and out of class. It makes me want to be that person someday in the future for the upcoming generation of students.
So, while there are struggles, it’s not all bad. I’m in college, I have an amazing family and I am surrounded by people who genuinely care about me. I’m hopeful. I know all the sacrifices my family and I have made will be worth it in the end.
2019 Year-End Giving
Learn how to make an impact on students at MSU Denver before 2019 ends.
By reimagining what is possible at MSU Denver, we are advancing opportunities for our students, the state of Colorado and beyond – both today and into the future. As the end of the year quickly approaches, there are many ways you can have a life-changing effect on future students and programs at MSU Denver.
Thank you – your support is the reason we are able to Reimagine Possible at MSU Denver.
Make Your Year-End Gift Today!
By Credit Card
Gifts can be made online with this secure link—Make a Gift. There, you have the option of designating your gift to the scholarship, department or program of your choice.
Credit card donations must be processed on or before Dec. 31, 2019, to have a 2019 tax receipt date. The tax date used for online credit card transactions is when the transaction is entered online. Envelopes containing credit card info received in 2020 will be entered and receipted in 2020, regardless of the envelope’s postmark.
Mail is not delivered during the holiday break – Dec. 21, 2019-Jan.1, 2020. Checks received during that week will not be deposited until January 2020. A donor who prefers to pay by check must have their envelope postmarked in 2019 to receive a 2019 tax receipt.
Please send checks to our campus address:
MSU Denver Foundation
Campus Box 14
PO Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362
Never forget to make your year-end gift again by signing up for MSU Denver’s monthly giving program, the Marathon Society. Setting up a monthly gift is convenient, customizable and environmentally friendly!
Electronic Funds Transfer
Wire your end-of-year gift directly to the MSU Denver Foundation UMB checking account.
With ‘Green Cash’
‘Green cash’ or currency/coin contributions must be delivered to our office before January 3, 2020, with appropriate documentation attached to indicate the gift was made in 2019.
Stocks, Bonds and Other Marketable Securities
Investment securities must be in the possession of BNY Mellon, our investment manager, on or before Dec. 31 for a 2019 tax receipt. December securities gifts MUST be readily marketable. Securities gifts that are not readily marketable require Foundation Board approval before acceptance. Security Delivery Instructions
For more information about Charitable Giving Considerations, and to learn how you can help MSU Denver reimagine possible with an end-of-year gift, visit Year-End Giving or contact the MSU Denver Foundation directly at 303-615-0065 or email@example.com.
MSU Denver and YOU ... a Perfect Pair!
Donor are staying cozy while supporting students in need.
By Lynne Winter ‘17
Throughout the month of Socktober, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University are showing their Roadrunner Pride and keeping their toes warm with gifts to the Student Emergency Fund. For every gift of $25 or more made to the Student Emergency Fund between Oct. 1-31, donors receive a pair of limited-edition MSU Denver socks, contribute a pair of socks to a student in need and support students experiencing unexpected financial difficulties.
The response has been ROWDY!
Socktober began with a goal of 150 donors. With one week left in the month, 281 Socktober donors have raised $12,380, and 382 pairs of socks will be donated to students in need through the Roadrunner Food Pantry.
A financial emergency is one of the main reasons students stop pursuing their educational goals. According to a recent survey of MSU Denver students: 44% were food insecure in the prior 30 days; 45% worry about running out of food before having money to buy more; 47% cannot afford to eat balanced meals; 62% were housing-insecure in the previous year; and 17% were homeless in the previous year.
The Student Emergency Fund is determined to support and retain current MSU Denver students dealing with homelessness or housing insecurities, unemployment, unexpected medical bills and other financial challenges by offering them the opportunity to apply for a one-time emergency stipend of up to $500.
This type of direct support allows students to reimagine what is possible for their futures.
“After getting sick during the middle of the semester and taking a few days off from work, my work-study paycheck wasn’t enough to pay rent or fill my empty refrigerator,” says Nalinda, ’20. “The Student Emergency Fund helped me take care of rent, buy groceries and focus on regaining my health so I could finish the semester strong. I am deeply grateful.”
Between May and July 2019, 24 students were approved for assistance, and with the support of Socktober donors, even more will have the chance to reach their goal of achieving the American dream of earning a college degree.
A small act of kindness can have a huge impact on the life of an MSU Denver student. When donors make a gift to the Student Emergency Fund and share a pair of socks during the month of Socktober, they are ensuring fellow Roadrunners can continue to Run With Us!
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Getting real about hunger and homelessness on campus.
New data shows housing insecurity is a serious issue for Denver college students. Here’s how one student leader is shaping a safety net for others.
They shoot. They score!
Sandy Suzor is making sure student-athletes on the MSU Denver club hockey team are able to play the game they love AND earn a degree at MSU Denver.
When Sandy Suzor’s son, Sam, joined the MSU Denver club hockey team as a freshman, he was welcomed with open arms at a school where he didn’t know anyone. As a first-year player, he was invited to the homes of other players and partake in their Roadrunner spirit, motivating him to keep his grades up so he could remain eligible to play.
“When Sam was playing, all of the parents contributed in so many ways – some took care of scheduling and others provided food and drinks. It was a family,” she says. “We worked hard to make sure everything was covered, the kids were safe and everyone was having a good time.”
One major difference between club sports and university-sanctioned athletics is that players are required to raise the majority of the funds needed for playing and traveling expenses. When Sandy and Sam learned teammates were struggling with the cost of being on the team, they wanted to help.
“Hiring coaches, paying for ice time and referees, and purchasing uniforms and equipment really adds up,” she says. “The per-person cost was prohibitive to some of our players, causing some to experience financial hardship or leave the team."
To offset the cost of additional expenses, Suzor began providing financial support to the team with the goal of ensuring students who want to play hockey AND earn their degree at MSU Denver can do so without a crushing financial burden.
“All of the players are expected to do their share of fundraising and team administrative work, but not everyone can commit to the same out-of-pocket expense,” she says.
What began as a group of scrappy, committed and talented players wearing mismatched jerseys playing at the Division III level has become a competitive Division II team, placing in the top 10 at the 2015 and 2016 ACHA National Championships, and bringing home a 2019 BMHC Championship. When the coaching staff asked if they could associate Sam and Sandy with the Annual Commitment to Excellence Award – awarded to a player or personal who goes beyond the call of duty – they were deeply honored.
“We were honored to have been thought of,” says Sandy. “Sam and I are passionate about the MSU Denver hockey team and being involved has enriched both of our lives.”
“It is fantastic to know that any player who makes the team can have the same amazing experience Sam did – regardless of their ability to pay.”
Learn how you can support MSU Denver Campus Recreation Club Sports by contacting Nick Kinney, director of development for the college of business/athletics.
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Former Roadrunners rumble in Australia’s national basketball league grand final.
After being passed over in the MLB Draft, Roadrunners All-American catcher Matt Malkin signs as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants Organization.
OCA Colorado partners with MSU Denver
New endowed scholarship connects students to the community.
The newest scholarship founded at Metropolitan State University of Denver is on a mission to connect students to the community.
In July 2019, the Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA) Colorado established an endowed scholarship at MSU Denver to support primarily Asian-Pacific Islander students who are Colorado residents with financial need. A critical part of the application process will have students explaining how the scholarship, the education it supports and the opportunity to interact with OCA Colorado will help them have a positive impact on their community.
“We are looking forward to inviting the scholarship recipients to join OCA Colorado,” says Margaret Choi, J.D., president, OCA Colorado. “It will offer them an amazing opportunity to get connected with their community and Asian culture in Colorado.”
OCA Colorado is part of the national nonprofit OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. Founded in 1973 and based in Washington D.C., OCA National has 100 chapters and affiliates across the U.S., including OCA Colorado. The organization and its members are committed to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“We have to band together to protect and promote basic social and economic rights,” says Choi. “OCA Colorado is a non-partisan group, and at the local level, we are focused on promoting the cultural aspects of Asian heritage.”
Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders make up 4.6% MSU Denver’s undergraduate student demographic. OCA Colorado hopes to connect with these students and provide them with the opportunity to network and explore their cultural heritage.
Members of OCA Colorado already have experience working with MSU Denver students and graduates – and they’ve been thrilled with the experience.
“I’ve had MSU Denver students working in my office, and they have been great,” said Ann Wang, CPA, president and CEO, AW Financial Services, and OCA Education Fund committee chair. “They learn quickly and their productivity is amazing.”
MSU Denver also turned out to be a perfect match when OCA Colorado was looking for a way to support higher education in Colorado.
“We wanted to connect with students,” says Wang. “Christine [Márquez-Hudson, vice president of MSU Denver University Advancement] was out in the community and we clicked. She helped us find a way to match our desires for supporting education with the needs of students at MSU Denver.”
On July 13, 2019, OCA Colorado held their inaugural OCA Colorado 2019 Panda 5K Run – a race to benefit youth in the Asian Pacific American community. Over 300 participants registered for the 5K, with proceeds benefiting the OCA Colorado Education Fund, and the event included an Asian resource fair. Following the race, OCA Colorado presented the MSU Denver Foundation with a $100,000 check to fund the OCA Colorado Endowed Scholarship.
Students who receive the OCA Endowed Scholarship will be invited to participate in OCA Colorado activities and mentoring opportunities.
“We hope that the scholarship recipient will stay in Denver and contribute back to the community,” says Wang. “We want to build a relationship with these students and mentor them.”
MSU Denver students are encouraged to apply for the scholarship today – the funds will be awarded beginning spring 2020. The two students selected to receive the scholarship will have the opportunity to renew the scholarship each year.
“We don’t want our heritage to get lost – for people to forget where they come from,” says Choi. “It is important to educate both the larger community and the Asian community so they can be proud of their culture and carry that forward.”
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Gifts to AMSI let students reimagine what is possible at MSU Denver
Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building houses some of the most technologically advanced learning environments on Auraria Campus. Equipment donations from the industry’s top leaders make it possible for highly-skilled, workforce-ready graduates to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing in Colorado.
The recent donation of inspection-related equipment items to the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute (AMSI) allows students, faculty and staff to reimagine possibilities for learning at MSU Denver.
“Gifts have a significant impact on AMSI,” says Robert Park, Ph.D., director, Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute. “The equipment we receive permits us to develop new courses to enhance our degree programs, and in turn, the student experience.”
This year, MSU Denver partner TEI Rock Drills of Montrose, Colorado, donated computer-aided inspection equipment with a retail value of $126,000, including a Dorsey optical comparator and a ROMER (portable) arm coordinate measuring machine (CMM). The AMSI also received two granite surface inspection plates (retail $12,000) from the DNET Engineering & Integration Company.
“We are so grateful for the support of our partners,” says Park. “Because of their generosity, students can experience programming (G & M coding), tool selection and setup, CNC machining and machined part inspection, in an integrated production-grade environment.”
These gifts resulted in the creation of a new course that began in spring 2019 called CNC Machining & Inspection. The course incorporates hands-on exposure to the equipment items, allowing for the inspection (for quality assurance) of parts designed, programmed and machined by MSU Denver students.
“By virtue of our philanthropic equipment donors, we are reimagining what is possible,” says Park. “Together, we are providing an increasing number of experiential learning opportunities to prepare our students for the workforce upon graduation.”
For more information about how you can support the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute, contact Gwen Thompson, senior director of development.
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Efforts to protect Earth from asteroid impacts get a lift from aerospace science students.
To stay at the forefront of Industry 4.0, Lockheed Martin partners with higher education to teach and inspire a workforce that will work with machines as partners.
Happy Anniversary Red and Blue Fund!
Members are making it possible for student-athletes to find academic and athletic success.
Imagine living the life of a Roadrunner student-athlete. Each week, they attend classes, study, practice and compete, work part-time jobs and volunteer. Despite receiving little-to-no scholarship assistance, they show Roadrunner Spirit and are committed to excellence in the classroom and on the field of play.
Roadrunners Athletics is currently only funded at 65% of the athletic aid permissible by the NCAA, creating a gap in program funding. Over the course of the last year, Roadrunners Athletics supporters jumped at the chance to become members of the newly developed Red and Blue Fund, paving the way for MSU Denver student-athletes to pursue a balanced athletic and academic experience.
The Red and Blue Fund allows donors to make a direct impact on the sport of their choice, help student-athletes elevate their game and provide the additional funds necessary to ensure student-athletes have access to high-caliber competition and a comprehensive academic experience.
In its first year, 775 Red and Blue Fund donors made 1,446 gifts, raising $221,127.14 to support student-athletes – a 30% increase over the previous year’s Roadrunner Club.
Roadrunners Athletics’ inspiring history of athletic and academic achievements is dependent on this support. Since joining the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1996, MSU Denver student-athletes have achieved success in the form of 44 RMAC Tournament championship wins, 43 regular-season championships and 105 NCAA championship appearances. Additionally, 16 student-athletes have earned Academic All-America honors and five have been named national players of the year.
“This is an exciting time for Roadrunners Athletics,” says Anthony Grant, Ph.D., director of athletics. “We are grateful to everyone who has joined us to make the Red and Blue Fund a success.”
Show your Roadrunner Pride today and join Roadrunners Athletics in supporting MSU Denver student-athletes. With the help of Red and Blue Fund members, Roadrunners will continue to achieve excellence on and off the field of play.
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Roadrunners Softball: European Adventure.
72 Student-Athletes Earn Recognition on Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
MSU Denver Foundation Board Member to Speak at TEDx MSU Denver 2019
Heather Bulk wants to reimagine how we talk to ourselves.
What happens when, over the course of a heartfelt discussion, someone you respect asks you to apply to speak at TEDx MSU Denver 2019?
If you’re MSU Denver Foundation Board member Heather Bulk, you start considering ways to squeeze that impassioned topic, one that allows others to Reimagine Possibilities, into 10 short minutes.
“I chose to talk about the things we tell ourselves when we walk into rooms where we aren’t sure we fit in,” says Bulk, CEO and Co-Founder of Special Aerospace Services (SAS) and co-founder of the Who Dreams Wins Foundation. “For many people, particularly those who belong to an underrepresented identity, the first thing we ask ourselves upon entering a room and noticing we are different from everyone else is, ‘Do I belong here?’”
Bulk notes that when someone identifies with an underrepresented group, it often causes them to question whether they should actually be there. Seeds of doubt abound.
On the flip side, Bulk also wants people to consider what leaders and people of influence are doing to welcome those who feel like they don’t belong. Imagine the possibilities if a person who was struggling to enter a room, an industry or a new situation had the welcoming eyes and ears of those on the ‘inside.’
“As a CEO, industry representative, spouse and mother of three, I began to examine where I was in my life and the influence I have,” she says. “I had to ask: how am I welcoming people, in all facets of my life?”
As she further mulled over the topic, Bulk wondered if this was the right time and venue for such a vulnerable conversation – were people ready to hear a talk about our insecurities, or the ways we may or may not welcome people into a room. Ultimately, Bulk recognized the more we talk about barriers and self-talk, the more we can move forward in our own lives and support others. She knew it was worth talking about if it changed the way even one person thinks.
“What I see at MSU Denver is opportunity for everyone,” she says. “And when you can leverage opportunity, everyone wins.”
Bulk will be joining faculty members, alumni, community members, students and President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., as one of the 17 TED talks and two performances to take place on Sept. 12. Purchase your ticket today and join the Roadrunner community for a day of Reimagining Possibilities!
For more information about TEDx MSU Denver, contact Cora Potter, university events and protocol specialist, at 303-605-5814 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roadrunners Softball: European Adventure
The every-day life of a student-athlete at Metropolitan State University of Denver is jam-packed with classes, studying, practice and games, and part-time jobs. For most Roadrunners, having those days include a trip to Europe would seem out of the realm of possibility.
Last year, the MSU Denver Women’s Softball Team learned about an opportunity to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and share their love of softball with the world.
“When we heard we had the chance to go on a European Tour, I was so excited,” said MSU Denver senior and shortstop, Ally Richter. “I never imagined I’d get to do something so amazing.”
Over the course of the next year, players, coaches and the team’s supporters took on the added responsibility of planning and fundraising to make this once-in-a-lifetime trip a reality. In June, the softball team, along with coaches and staff, headed to Europe to explore and participate in the sport they love. The tour included international competition, sightseeing and serving as softball ambassadors in Prague, Vienna, Venice, Florence and Rome.
“We got the chance to see some of the most beautiful and famous places in the world,” says Richter. “It was incredible to see a new part of the world with all of my teammates. It was everything I expected it to be – and more.”
The softball team played five games while in Europe, including one against the Italian National Team – a top-ranked European softball team and recent 2020 Summer Olympics qualifier.
Without the combined efforts of 27 generous donors contributing $2,310 to the team’s crowdfunding campaign and 137 volunteers – including students, staff and alumni – raising $23,975 participating in the Colorado Rockies 50/50 Raffle, many student-athletes would never have this type of opportunity.
“Our trip wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support of our donors, parents, staff and the Athletic Department,” says Richter. “I can’t begin to express how thankful we are to have such an unforgettable experience!”
For more information about how you can support MSU Denver Women’s Softball, contact Bre Milnes, director of annual giving.
Board of Trustees approves adjustments to tuition and student fees
Changes take effect fall 2019.
Metropolitan State University of Denver is committed to providing students with a high-quality, high-value educational experience that supports their academic, personal and professional goals. The University has a history of striving to keep tuition and fees low in an effort to make higher education accessible to anyone interested in earning a college degree; however, in May 2019, the decision was made to increase tuition and fees for the 2019-20 academic year.
The choice to raise tuition at MSU Denver was not made lightly. Unfortunately, the state of Colorado ranks 46th in the U.S. for funding higher education and MSU Denver receives less funding per student than any other public institution in the state. These increases are necessary for the University to remain a leader in affordable tuition and fees, as well as keep pace with other higher education institutions in Colorado.
Beginning in fall 2019, tuition will increase by 3%, the tuition window will close by 50% and there will be a 5% increase in mandatory student fees. Funds generated by the increases – a projected $4.25 million – will go directly towards supporting student-identified top priorities: student services, scholarships, additional full-time faculty members.
MSU Denver’s tuition and fees will continue to remain among the lowest in Colorado – nearly $2,000 less than the statewide average ($11,073) for four-year schools – allowing donor gifts to make a greater impact than at other institutions. With these increases, your gifts are more critical than ever to the success of the students and programs at MSU Denver.
Increase in Tuition and Mandatory Student Fees
- Resident undergraduate students taking classes on the main campus and online will pay $268 per credit hour – $7.80 more per credit hour – up to 12 credit hours. For each additional credit hour, up to 18 credit hours, they will pay $134 per credit hour.
- Increased tuition and fee revenue will fund high-impact student services and help the University avoid cutting essential services.
Closing Tuition Window by 50%
- For the last 10 years, students could take up to 18 credit hours for the price of 12, the purpose of which was to make tuition more affordable for low-income students.
- Discovery: Students who took advantage were not part of the original target audience.
- Cost increase for full-time undergraduate students within the tuition window: $741.82 per semester.
- Total tuition and fees for full-time undergraduate students within the tuition window: $9,150 per year.
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Tuition window closing by 50%. The incremental closure will increase funding for student-support services and give University leaders time to review impacts.
Board approves tuition changes for 2019-20 academic year.
2019 Annual Scholarship Dinner
By Lynne Winter ‘17
The Annual Scholarship Dinner provides the MSU Denver community with an opportunity to celebrate the generosity of our donors and the impact they have on the lives of our hardworking students.
On April 24, over 200 donors, students and MSU Denver faculty and staff members came together for "A Night Among Our Stars" and one common purpose: their dedication to helping others realize their potential through education. The evening was full of sparkling conversation, delicious food, touching student stories and Roadrunner Spirit.
During the 2018-19 academic year, MSU Denver awarded $1.6 million in private scholarship funds to 711 students. Scholarships provide hard-working students with a hand up, not a handout, and level the playing field by providing deserving students with a way to access the benefits of higher education. Without the help of our donors, these amazing students might not otherwise have the ability to pursue the American dream of earning a degree.
At MSU Denver, we have the great privilege of creating change and transforming lives – and we couldn’t achieve all that we do without the support of our donors. We are deeply grateful for their generosity, their willingness to share MSU Denver stories with others and their commitment to joining us at celebrations like the Annual Scholarship Dinner.
Check out photos from the 2019 Annual Scholarship Dinner, "A Night Among Our Stars."
For more information about the Annual Scholarship Dinner, contact Traci McBee Rowe, director of donor relations and advancement special events.
COSI Program transforms lives
Donors double their impact and help Roadrunners reach academic goals
It is not uncommon for students at Metropolitan State University of Denver to struggle under the financial weight of pursuing higher education. When faced with the decision to pay for necessities or tuition, some students make the unfortunate choice to drop out before graduating. By directly engaging these students, MSU Denver can diminish equity gaps in our higher education system and transform the lives of students who are at risk of dropping out of school.
Launched in 2014, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) awards grants to programs designed to give underserved students access to an affordable post-secondary education. COSI moves the needle toward statewide educational equity goals, particularly among the Latinx/Hispanic students.
“Receiving a COSI Scholarship means I can be a focused, full-time student, work as an apprentice with a local nonprofit and give back to my community instead of focusing on how I will pay for my education,” says business finance major, David Cardoza-Rodriguez. “With these funds, I am one step closer to accomplishing my goal of achieving the American dream – something my parents sacrificed so much for.”
MSU Denver received a generous award of nearly $195,000 from the state for use in matching new or increased gifts made to the COSI Program, offering donors the chance to double their investment in our student’s success and make a dramatic impact on services and scholarship funding for deserving students.
“Coming from a single parent household, my mother cannot help me pay for school,” says management major, Gabriel Fuentes. “The COSI Scholarship allows me to focus on my classes and graduate without worrying about money or taking on debt. It has been a blessing for my family and me.”
The University’s goal is to match the full $194,348 investment – which will fund 51 students over the course of five semesters – by March 2020. In the event MSU Denver is unable to raise the necessary matching funds, the University will miss out on the opportunity to support amazing, hard-working students.
Students receiving COSI scholarships graduate at a rate of 94 percent, and wraparound services provided by the MSU Denver Roadways Program guide students transitioning into their sophomore year, setting them up for educational, personal and professional success as they select a major and identify their academic and career plans.
“The COSI Scholarship is one of the best things to happen to me while in college – it makes life less stressful,” says mechanical engineering major, Chrys Way. “I no longer need to take out loans and I am connected to people who are helping me navigate my career path.”
“I am so grateful for the support this scholarship provides.”
For more information about supporting COSI Scholarships, contact Megan Conklin, executive director of corporate and foundation relations, or Shannon Roe, assistant director of corporate and foundation relations.
2019 Day of Giving Recap
March 21, 2019, marked MSU Denver’s third annual Day of Giving. Over the course of 24 hours, we put out the call to fellow Roadrunners, asking them to Join the Race and make a gift to the area or program they are most passionate about. The generous response was overwhelming, giving us our most successful year yet. We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish next year with your support.
Thank you to everyone who Joined the Race!
For more information about supporting Day of Giving, contact Bre Milnes, director of annual giving.
First scholarship for Department of Human Performance and Sport
Anonymous donor leads the way with $25,000 endowment
The Department of Human Performance and Sport (HPS) provides students at MSU Denver with a combination of technical expertise, hands-on experience, individual attention and classroom learning to prepare them for a fulfilling career in dance, exercise science, athletic training or sport management. But until recently, something was missing – department-specific scholarships.
At the end of 2018, HPS received a transformational gift – its first endowed scholarship. The Glenn and Lori Morris Endowed Scholarship was established by an anonymous donor to offer scholarships to students who have declared a major in HPS, help them complete their education at the University and achieve their career goals.
“We believe strongly in the mission and performance of the Department of Human Performance and Sport,” says the donor. “We wanted to support the students and program with a gift that will continue in perpetuity.”
The scholarship is also a way for the donor to honor its namesake – MSU Denver affiliate faculty member Glenn Morris, Ph.D., and his late wife, Lori. It recognizes the contributions Morris has made to HPS during his more than two decades serving at MSU Denver.
“I cannot think of a greater honor than to have someone donate their hard-earned money in my and my loving wife’s names,” says Morris. “To be forever remembered in this way is an outstanding, loving tribute. Whoever the donor, I cannot thank them enough for such an unselfish gift.”
Scholarships are crucial to maintaining a quality educational experience for HPS students and faculty in a growing, thriving department. Our generous donors make it possible for the department’s 1,100 students to improve their lives, positively impact communities and persist in their goal of earning a degree at MSU Denver. The Glenn and Lori Morris Endowed Scholarship is the first step in providing HPS students with relief from the financial burden of higher education through department scholarships.
For more information about how you can support Human Performance and Sport scholarships at MSU Denver, contact Gwen Thompson, senior director of development, at email@example.com or 303-615-2051.
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Generous grant supports DACA Students
Rose Community Foundation awards DACA Renewal Fund portion of $1 million grant
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students at MSU Denver face unique financial challenges when earning a college degree. By obtaining DACA status, they are able to live and work legally in the US for a period of up to two years; however, they do not qualify for federal and state financial aid, and scholarship options are limited, leaving students and their families to pay for tuition, books and other costs out-of-pocket. When the time comes to renew their DACA status, coming up with the $518 necessary for the renewal fees and certified mail postage presents a financial burden, sometimes affecting their ability to cover tuition.
In 2018, the Rose Community Foundation (RCF) awarded $1 million to local nonprofits that address emerging issues facing immigrants, refugees and communities vulnerable to discrimination and hate crimes. RCF allocated a portion of the grant to MSU Denver’s DACA Renewal Fund. The fund provides students with the money they need to renew their DACA status, allowing them to continue to stay in the US legally and pursue their personal, educational and professional goals. The gift will cover the total cost of renewal for 18 students.
“The students who are impacted by this grant are nearly uniformly low-income, first-generation, high-achieving scholars,” said Gregor Mieder, coordinator, Immigrant Services Program. “They are deeply appreciative of the support.”
Upon learning they were receiving help from RCF, students expressed gratitude and described it as life-changing. The grant provides tremendous relief to students who are prohibited from accessing financial aid, healthcare subsidies and other essential benefits available to low-income families.
“This gift lifts a huge burden off my shoulders,” said one grant recipient. “It’s allowed me to focus on my schoolwork instead of struggling with where the money for the renewal fees will come from.”
Without the protection of DACA status, students face the threat of being deported to an unfamiliar country – torn from the only life they have ever known and unable to complete their goal of achieving the American dream of earning a college degree.
“These funds are so much more than a financial lifeline,” said Mieder. “It is a clear sign to our DACA, undocumented and immigrant students that they are welcome, valued, respected and a crucial part of the Denver community.”
With support from organizations like RCF, MSU Denver can continue to ensure DACA students have access to amazing educational opportunities and, more importantly, remain with family and friends in the country they call home.
For more information about how you can support DACA students, contact Gwen Thompson, senior director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-615-2051.
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Beer Industry Program brews success with gift from Cask Global Canning
New system provides students with hands-on craft brew canning experience
Cask Global Canning Solutions – the inventor of micro-canning equipment for craft brewers –recently donated their Micro-Automated Canning System (mACS) to the MSU Denver Beer Industry Program. The tabletop-canning machine, which retails for $85,000, will serve as a learning tool for students and an additional product packaging option for the Tivoli Brewing Company.
“The MSU Denver Beer Industry Program helps aspiring members of the brewing trade learn about the best practices a brewery can employ,” said Cask founder Peter Love in a company press release. “It was important to us that these women and men get firsthand experience with the best package there is for a delicious craft beer: the aluminum can.”
The generous gift to MSU Denver enhances an already innovative program and continues Cask’s Colorado connection, which began nearly two decades ago when, in 2002, they installed their first canning system at Oskar Blues Brewery & Pub in Lyons, Colorado.
“When we toured the school’s beer lab, we were blown away by the caliber of the testing equipment and the sophistication of the staff,” said Love. “We love that MSU Denver students will get quality control and testing experience way beyond what they could get in a typical craft brewery, and our micro-canning gear and cans will be put through that same rigorous testing and scrutiny.”
A versatile and compact machine, the mACS features industry-leading fill technology, advanced seaming technology and software, and packages a wide variety of can sizes and products. The state-of-the-art equipment has found a home in the Tivoli Brewing Company’s brewery where staff members will provide MSU Denver students training on the canning operation, brewing, packaging and distribution, making them uniquely experienced with the innovative technology. With the introduction of the mACS, Tivoli Brewing will add cans to its packaging options and pay the University, as they would another mobile canning service, for the use of the machine – offering the brewing program an additional source of funding.
"The Cask canning line will be a true difference maker for both MSU Denver and the beer industry as a whole,” says Scott Kerkmans, instructor and director of MSU Denver’s Beer Industry Program. “Our students are the next generation of brewery leaders, and now they can learn about micro-canning on equipment ideally suited for small and medium-sized breweries. They can apply that knowledge while interning during school and working after graduation.”
The MSU Denver Brew Industry Program blends the art and science of brewing beer with hospitality knowledge and operational skills to produce graduates who meet the needs of the beer and brewing industries. The program is grateful to partners like Cask Global Canning Solutions for sharing their commitment to brewing excellence and supporting the ever-growing program.
For more information about how you can support the Brew Industry Program, contact Steve Galpern at email@example.com or 303-615-2043.
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MSU Denver alum Eric Papadeas stays connected and transforms lives
Since graduating in 1979, Metropolitan State University of Denver management alum Hercules ‘Eric’ Papadeas makes it a priority to stay connected to his Roadrunner family – despite living over 700 miles away from campus.
The oldest of four siblings, Papadeas wanted to continue his education close to home after graduating from high school and attended MSU Denver for a year. A friend convinced him to transfer to the University of Wyoming the following fall, but he returned to MSU Denver after breaking his leg while skiing at Copper Mountain.
“I thought about studying dentistry or engineering, but decided on management,” said Papadeas. “My dad didn’t graduate from high school, but he worked hard and I learned a lot from him about business. Going into the field was a natural fit for me.”
What followed were fun-filled years making friends, hanging out in the student union and racing between buildings in true Roadrunner spirit to take business classes. “Attending MSU Denver was a great experience,” he said. “The professors made a point to illustrate how the information we were learning in class would apply in the real world.”
The experience turned an ambitious young man into an entrepreneur. Papadeas has spent over 25 years protecting homes and commercial properties in and around the east valley of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, from the threat of ants, roaches, scorpion infestation and more, with his locally-loved business, Pest’R Us Exterminating.
He also spends his time supporting causes that are close to his heart, including the students and programs at MSU Denver – something he has been doing for over 25 years. Just this year, he joined the President’s Society. “It is important to me to support a culture of philanthropy and kindness,” said Papadeas. “People will remember what you did and how you treated them.”
Student callers in the Reach-a-Roadrunner Call Center are always delighted when Papadeas takes time out of his busy day to talk with them about his MSU Denver experience and share his generous, positive attitude. He also joined the Alumni Association in this year in Scottsdale, Arizona, for Colorado Rockies spring training and hopes to make it back to campus soon for a basketball game.
“I am fortunate that I am in the position to give, but service to others in a volunteering fashion is what drives me,” said Papadeas. “We have a duty to do what we can for others, and I want to make sure kids have an opportunity to receive an education.”
“Dreams do come true if you reach for the stars!”
Op-Ed: Why I Give Back
It was a cold and snowy day in 2013 when I found myself at one of life’s crossroads. I was afraid to drive to work because the tires on my car were nearly bald, but I couldn’t afford to replace them. Against my better judgment, I headed out, hoping I’d make it in time for my shift at a store where I’d worked unhappily for 12 years.
The first hill I faced made a mockery of my car – the tires spun as I struggled to gain the traction I needed to move forward or turn around. I got off the road and frantically called work to let them know I’d be late. When I finally arrived, I learned that our parent company was liquidating our store. I hated my job, but the thought of change was unnerving and I had no idea how I was going to provide for my family.
I started working in retail in 1993. After earning my B.A. in English from the University of Colorado at Denver in the late 90s, I made the leap to retail management. For twenty years, I was unsatisfied with the work I did. I yearned for purpose and knew my only choice was to go back to school. At the time, my son was in high school excelling in physics and math classes, and I wanted to be able to connect in some way to what he was learning, so I chose to major in environmental science. When it came to picking a school, I knew MSU Denver was the right choice for me.
I immersed myself in campus culture – first as a T.A. for a biology lab, then as a tutor. I sat at the front of the class, asked questions, studied like crazy and made sure my professors knew who I was. As nervous as I’d been to start back, I was not alone. Many of my classmates were in similar situations and were also looking for a brighter future by earning a degree.
After being at the University for more than a year, I applied to work in the Reach-a-Roadrunner Call Center. There was no way I could have known how the initial interview would change my life. The job terrified me – cold-calling alumni to talk and ask for money – but I needed a second job to make ends meet. It was scary and exhilarating. Every day, there was at least one alum who was willing to talk about their experience at MSU Denver and share a part of their lives with me.
Working in the call center, I came to understand the impact giving makes on students. I learned about programs and scholarships that made it possible for someone to create the life they wanted for themselves and their families. I spoke with alumni who told me that MSU Denver accepted them when no other school would, and it transformed their lives. The experience connected me to the alumni, students and the University.
A year later, I began working in University Advancement and the following year, I became a full-time staff member. I have the privilege to speak with donors, students, alumni, faculty and staff members about the ways MSU Denver has impacted their lives and then, communicate their stories to the larger community. It is an awesome responsibility.
Knowing how the University transforms lives inspired me to fill out payroll deduction paperwork within a month of being hired. During my first year, I gave exclusively to the Chelsie Worth Celebration Scholarship. The following year, I increased my gift and split my monthly contribution between the scholarship and the Family Literacy Project – a program I was introduced to by Jeff Peierls when I interviewed him for the Roadrunner Development Report.
Earning a degree at MSU Denver changed everything for my family and me. I am deeply indebted to the people who presented me with opportunities to grow and develop my skills – and continue to do so. They model the passion required of those who work in and support higher education. I am proud to follow their example and give back to the institution that has given me the life I always wanted.
Lynne Winter (environmental science '17) is the engagement coordinator and advancement writer for MSU Denver University Advancement.
Your generosity transforms the lives of students, families and the community. As the end of the year quickly approaches, there are many ways to make a gift and impact the future of students and programs at MSU Denver. Thank you for making it possible for our students to achieve the American dream of earning a degree.
Gifts Made by Credit Card
In the interest of your security and ours, we highly advise that you DO NOT send credit card numbers in the mail.
Gifts can be made online with this secure link—Make a Gift. There, you have the option of designating your gift to the scholarship, department or program of your choice.
Credit card donations need to be processed on or before December 31st to have a 2018 tax receipt date. The tax date used for online credit card transactions is when the transaction is entered online. Envelopes containing credit card info received in 2019 will be entered and receipted in 2019, regardless of the envelope’s postmark.
Gifts Made by Check
Mail is not delivered during the holiday break. Checks received during that week will not be deposited until January. A donor who prefers to pay by check must have their envelope postmarked in 2018 to receive a 2018 tax receipt.
Please send checks to our campus address:
MSU Denver Foundation
Campus Box 14
PO Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362
Gifts Made with ‘Green Cash’
‘Green cash’ or currency/coin contributions must be delivered to our office before January 4, 2019, with appropriate documentation attached to indicate the gift was made in 2018.
Gifts Made with Stocks, Bonds and Other Marketable Securities
Investment securities must be in the possession of BNY Mellon, our investment manager, on or before December 31st for 2018 tax receipt. December securities gifts MUST be readily marketable. Securities gifts that are not readily marketable require Foundation Board approval before acceptance.
For more information about how you can transform lives at MSU Denver with an end-of-year gift visit Year-End Giving or contact the MSU Denver Foundation directly at 303-615-0065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.