Magazine / People

Donor Marcia Gallagher proud to give back to alma mater

"The University is a perfect size within a major city, and it does a great deal of good in the community," says alumna and donor Marcia Gallagher. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

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

Because Gallagher had no parental support for her DU education, the need-based academic scholarship gave her an educational opportunity that wouldn’t have been available to her otherwise.

Gallagher’s recent gift of more than $1 million to DU will go toward providing similar opportunities to current and future undergraduate students.

From living on campus to her work-study job in the Mary Reed Library to broomball on the ice rink and other adventures, Gallagher — a Scottsdale, Ariz., native — holds fond memories of her time at DU. 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 conversation about where they would apply. Her research into the cost of a college education and how schools are funded helped her understand that the price of a college education has grown substantially over the years, far outpacing many other types of investments.

Thanks to DU’s matching program for gifts of $25,000 or more, Gallagher’s donation will have an impact of more than $2 million. Gallagher and her husband, Maurice, CEO of Allegiant Travel Co., both support their alma maters.

“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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