Campus & Community

ASCEND campaign gift funds collaborative space for computer science

AscendgraphicEditor’s note: On June 30, 2014, ASCEND:The Campaign for the University of Denver came to a close, marking the conclusion of the most successful fundraising campaign in the University’s history. During the eight-year campaign, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the University made gifts of all sizes, totaling more than $480 million in support of priorities across campus that both enhance the student experience and strengthen the University for the long term. Visit the ASCEND website to read more stories about the initiatives, scholarships and endowments made possible by ASCEND.

In 2002, with their naming donation to The Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Robert and Judi Newman engaged the heart of the University of Denver, bringing together DU student musicians and performers with the larger Denver community.

Now, with their new gift to the ASCEND campaign — one that bolsters the computer science program — the Newmans are hoping to further engage the minds and talents of University of Denver students. Their generous gift helps fund the construction of the computer science floor in the new home of the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Though well known as art lovers, the Newmans are just as passionate about computer science, having both worked in the field for many years. “We were both computer programmers and systems designers, as well as managers of various technical groups,” says Robert Newman, a DU trustee and co-founder of J.D. Edwards & Co., a large Denver software company that is now part of Oracle Corp. “Computer science has been good for us, and we have seen immense progress in the field during our careers,” he says.

Their gift specifically will fund the department chair’s office, a visiting faculty suite, and 12 DU faculty offices on the new floor.

“The computer science floor helps satisfy a critical need for more lab and facility space for the rapidly expanding department,” says Judi Newman. The Newmans will name the rooms after innovators in the field, “recognizing key contributors to the evolution of computing with a short biographical plaque at each office and study space.” The hope, the Newmans say, is that the biographies will motivate students — in the sense that they will have role models in their field of study.

The Newmans say they admire DU’s hands-on, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to engineering education and hope their gift helps the Ritchie School advance to a new level, establishing itself as a leader in some emerging area of information science.


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