Alumni / Summer 2018

$5 million gift establishes new leadership academy

During Alumni Weekend in May, DU announced a $5 million gift from Joe and Sharon Saunders to establish the Saunders Leadership Academy. It is one of the largest endowed gifts in support of scholarships to the University in its history.

The initiative includes traditional financial aid support, personal and pre-professional leadership and growth training, and structured mentorship and internship opportunities.

“I believe that my experiences at the University of Denver greatly contributed to my successes both in my personal and my business life,” says Saunders (BSBA ’67, MBA ’68), one of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners. “My wife and I are pleased and excited to partner with the University of Denver to open this door and offer young motivated students this wonderful opportunity to receive the leadership training and experience they need to build their future careers.”

Saunders Scholars will represent diverse backgrounds and experiences, come from across the country, and enhance the fabric and culture of the University, says Chancellor Rebecca Chopp.

“One of our top priorities is to increase access to our distinctive, innovative educational experience with scholarships and financial aid,” she says. “This new programmatic

cohort of students will be complemented by cross-University support — a network of students, faculty and staff who can nurture, mentor and support our students throughout their journey.”

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