Campus & Community / DU Alumni / Magazine Feature

DU has strong ties to stock show’s 2010 Citizens of the West

Rebecca Love Kourlis, executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, and her husband, DU alumnus Tom Kourlis (BSBA finance ’73), have been named the 2010 “Citizens of the West” by the National Western Stock Show.

The Kourlis’ will accept the award at dinner at the Hyatt Regency Denver on Jan. 13.

The annual award is given to individuals who “embody the spirit and determination of the western pioneer, and who are committed to perpetuating the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals.” Awardees are selected by a committee of community leaders.

The Kourlis’ are among the youngest Citizen of the West honorees in the history of the award.

“Tom and I are extremely honored to be identified as people who represent the Western values that the National Western Stock Show legacy encompasses,” Love Kourlis says.

The Kourlis’ commitment to family, community service and their dedication to the West’s past, present and future are perfectly aligned, says Pat Grant (MBA ’73), president and chief executive officer of the National Western Stock Show.

“They manifest extraordinary competence in their respective careers and are deeply committed to agriculture,” Grant says. “They serve as role models for civic leadership. Very simply, Becky and Tom are high quality people and true Citizens of the West.”

Tom Kourlis, a rancher, was appointed Colorado’s commissioner of agriculture in 1994 by then-Governor Roy Romer. In addition to being a second generation ranch owner and operator, Tom currently serves on numerous committees and boards and formerly the chaired the American Lamb Board, which he helped create in 2002.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, a lawyer who served as a trial court judge and on the Colorado Supreme Court, founded the institute at DU in 2006. The institute’s mission is to propose and implemente research-based solutions for the civil justice system.

DU Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie, a past recipient of the award, will serve as the emcee of the 2010 Citizen of the West dinner.


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