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DU celebrates 147 years, names Founders Day Award Recipients

Annual event honors university community

DENVER— The University of Denver marked its 147th anniversary with a gala celebration and the annual Founders Day awards ceremony Thursday, March 3. The event recognized the work of DU faculty, staff, students and alumni through the years. To celebrate, the University annually presents six individuals with awards celebrating their achievements.

The University’s highest alumni honor, the Evans Award, was presented to Patrick Grant (MBA ’73). Grant recently stepped down as president and CEO of the National Western Stock Show, a role he held since 1991. Under Grant’s leadership, the stock show increased ticketed events by 20 percent. Grant oversaw the funding and construction of the Events Center, the Expo Hall and the Hall of Education, and he helped create the National Western’s trademark Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale. Grant is now director of long-range planning at the National Western.

Carol Tomé (MBA ’81), chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate services for Home Depot, received the Professional Achievement Award, first given in 1973. Tomé began her career as a commercial lender with United Bank of Denver (now Wells Fargo). She also serves on the United Parcel Service board of directors. In January 2008 she joined the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

John Ritter (BSCE ’72 & BA ’72) received the Randolph P. McDonough Award for Service to Alumni. The award is named for Randolph McDonough, DU alumni director from 1934–63; it was first presented in 1986. Ritter is president of the New York chapter of the DU alumni association; he also has served on several DU boards, committees and focus groups and has conducted Ammi Hyde interviews of prospective students.

The Distinguished Service to the University Award was presented to Victor Quinn, DU’s outside legal counsel for more than 50 years. Also employed by Waggener & Foster LLP, Quinn was a partner with Denver law firm Cockrell Quinn & Creighton from 1961–2007. He has practiced in the areas of nonprofit corporation law, real estate, probate and trust, elementary, secondary and higher education and public pensions.

Brad Busse (BS ’80) is the recipient of the Community Service Award, first presented in 1973. President and co-chair of RBC Daniels—which provides financial services to the cable, telecommunications, media and technology industries worldwide—Busse also serves on Colorado’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission. In the past Busse has been involved with the PCIA Foundation (the education and charitable arm of the Personal Communications Industry Association), the Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology and Mile High United Way.

The Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement went to Nicholas Sauer (BA ’05). Recipients of this award must have earned a DU undergraduate degree in the previous 10 years and demonstrated professional achievement. Sauer, who currently serves as the youngest member of the School District 220 Board of Education in his hometown of Barrington, Ill., worked on the gubernatorial campaign of former DU President Marc Holtzman and served as a political appointee under President George W. Bush.


The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to

Kristal Griffith
Phone: (303) 871-4117


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