Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

University announces 2009 Founders Day award recipients

The University of Denver will celebrate its 145th anniversary March 5 with a gala presentation of DU’s annualFounders Day Awards.

“The Founders Day gala is a remarkable celebration of the University of Denver,” says DU Executive Director of Alumni Relations Jeffrey Howard. “It is a time for us to honor the rich history of our founding and look back with pride at the outstanding achievements of our alumni, faculty, staff and friends.

“The event recognizes the incredible community of people who work so diligently to advance the mission and vision of DU. This year’s list of awardees continue the tradition of honoring those who truly embody the Pioneer spirit,” Howard says.

Randolph P. McDonough Award for Service
Louise Atkinson (MBA ’79) will receive 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 1968. Atkinson’s many DU volunteer activities have included serving on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, chairing Founders Day and raising funds to purchase pianos for the Lamont School of Music.

Distinguished Service to the University Award

The Distinguished Service to the University Award will be presented posthumously to Timber Dick, director of marketing and recruitment for the School of Engineering and Computer Science from November 2003 until his death in April 2008. Dick’s wife, Annette Tilleman-Dick, will accept the award on his behalf.

Community Service Award
Anthony Graves (IMBA ’04) is recipient of the Community Service Award, first presented in 1973. Graves, an active member of DU’s African-American Alumni Association, has mentored at-risk youth and assisted the Denver Rescue Mission, among numerous other volunteer activities.

Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement
The Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement will go to Craig Harrison (BSBA ’03). Recipients of this award, first presented in 1993, must have earned a DU undergraduate degree in the previous 10 years and demonstrated professional achievement. Harrison has launched several successful companies in the last five years, including US Capital. Harrison managed more than $10 million in investments for the company before selling it in June 2008.

Professional Achievement Award
Helen Davis (EdD ’61) will receive the Professional Achievement Award, first given in 1973. A critically acclaimed artist, Davis headed the Colorado Women’s College art department from 1962–71, ran the Boulder Valley School District art program from 1971–76 and helped develop the Boulder Arts Commission.

Evans Award
The Evans Award — the University’s highest alumni honor — will be presented to Merle Catherine Chambers (LLM ’84), namesake of DU’s Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women. The building, which opened in 2004, houses DU’s Women’s College, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Higher Education Resource Services (HERS).

Chambers is president of the Chambers Family Fund, which supports organizations working in early care and education, women’s economic self-sufficiency, democratic values, and arts and culture. She also founded and managed Axem Resources Inc., an oil and gas company, until its sale in 1997. First awarded in 1951, the Evans Award, named for University Founder John Evans, recognizes alumni who have demonstrated professional achievement, humanitarian service to the community and continuing interest in the University.

The Founders Day Gala on March 5 will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th St. in Denver. Individual tickets are $150 before Feb. 2 ($175 after); tables, which seat 10, are $1,500 before Feb. 2 ($1,750 after).

RSVP online by Feb. 20, 2009: Proceeds benefit the Alumni Scholarship Fund.

[Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story credited Anthony Graves with creating an affordable senior living center. Graves served on a board that was focused on affordable senior living solutions, but he didn’t create a senior living center. We regret the error.]

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