Academics and Research / News

Gallagher gives $1 million to DU for scholarships

Marcia Gallagher's gift will go toward undergraduate scholarships. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

When Marcia (Moritz) Gallagher (BA psychology ’73) received an offer for a full academic scholarship to the University of Denver, she accepted — even though she had never visited campus.

Because she had no parental support for her DU education, the need-based academic scholarship gave Gallagher an educational opportunity that impacted her life in innumerable ways and otherwise would not have been available to her.

And, it’s much of the reason behind her recent gift of more than $1 million to DU, which will go toward providing similar opportunities to current and future students.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without a DU education, and I wouldn’t have received a DU education without that scholarship,” says Gallagher, a Scottsdale, Ariz. native.

From living on campus to her work-study job in the Mary Reed Library to broomball on the ice rink and other adventures, Gallagher holds fond memories of her time at DU.

Additionally, she remains friends with DU classmates and keeps up with the latest research in psychology — her major at DU.

“I met so many great people at DU, and I felt like I was treated well,” she says. “It was a happy environment with no major wrinkles.”

When Gallagher’s children started looking at colleges, her love for DU factored into the conversations about where they would apply. Her research into the costs of a college education and how schools are funded helped her understand that a college education’s price tag has grown substantially over the years — far outpacing many other types of investments.

“I started considering how all of these financial factors limit people in the situation I was in,” she says. “And now that I am in the position to make such a difference in the lives of current students; the time is right.”

Through DU’s gift-matching program for scholarship gifts of $25,000 or more, Gallagher’s gift will have an impact of more than $2 million.

Gallagher and her husband, Maurice, CEO of Allegiant Travel Company, both generously support their alma maters. Their children, Spencer and Claire, also are finding success in their chosen paths. Spencer drives race cars and attends the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Claire, a junior at UCLA, excels at equestrian competition and writes for

“I give to DU out of a great fondness for the University, and out of a belief that DU offers a well-rounded education,” Gallagher says. “The University is a perfect size within a major city, and it does a great deal of good in the community. And with students and faculty from all over the world, it allows students a chance to understand a variety of perspectives. It’s just a wonderful school.”

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