Philanthropic Summit to Explore Funding Priorities in Colorado Higher Education

Note to Editors: A media room will be available for interviews with leaders from foundations and higher education during the summit.

Faced with a 21 percent cut in state general fund support in the past three years, Colorado’s institutions of higher education will gather Sept. 30 to explore their most urgent priorities at a summit sponsored by Colorado foundations and hosted at the Daniels Fund.

Larry Edward Penley, president and chancellor of the Colorado State University system, and Don Fry, vice president for university development and advancement at Colorado State, will be among the state’s higher education leaders participating in the summit.

Reduced general funding, combined with higher enrollments and mandated increases in compensation for state classified personnel, have stunned Colorado’s colleges and universities. To compound the situation, capital appropriations for higher education have gone from $170.3 million in 1999-2000 to $.5 million in 2003-04 – a 99.7 percent cut.

Addressing the shortfall is far beyond the capacity of the philanthropic sector, but it is a problem Colorado must examine. Tuition increases have helped offset state funding cuts, but cost of living increases have squeezed all institutions.

The Colorado Higher Education Philanthropy Summit will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 at the Daniels Fund, 101 Monroe Street in Denver.

Leaders from 29 colleges and universities across Colorado will make brief presentations and present materials on their funding priorities during the summit. The materials will be assimilated and distributed to foundations to assist with future fundraising and grant-making opportunities for all participants.  

Participating foundations include: Adolph Coors Foundation, Anschutz Foundation, Boettcher Foundation, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Daniels Fund, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Denver Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, First Data Western Union Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Helen K. & Arthur E. Johnson Foundation, Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation, Kenneth King Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Piton Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, and the Sam S. Bloom Foundation.

For information, contact: Peter J. Droege at Daniels Fund; Ph: 720-941-4422; Cell: 303-519-9533;