Private Support Delivers Tremendous Impact

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The BEST development team includes (clockwise, starting at lower left) Amanda Grogan, Ann Scott, Jessica Wright, Annie DuPre, Melinda Seevers, Noel Brendefur, Nick Lobejko, and Julie Kurzawa. Not pictured are Olivia Quimby and CJ O'Reilly.

Development team reorganizes to support collaborative opportunities

Hello again, I'm glad to be back!

I have seen tremendous impact delivered through private support and volunteer involvement during my five-plus years with the College of Engineering and Applied Science and BioFrontiers Institute. Individuals, corporations, and foundations give us life and opportunity, and it’s rewarding to see this so wonderfully demonstrated, year after year!

These past three years, my development work has been focused on the BioFrontiers Institute, the burgeoning, university-wide biotechnology initiative led by Nobel Laureate Tom Cech and Leslie Leinwand. These efforts have centered on raising funds for the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building—in which the College of Engineering and Applied Science has a significant presence. I’m glad to be back with the college now, leading a team of 14 development professionals, and helping sustain momentum for CU’s $1.5 billion Creating Futures campaign.

I’m even more excited about our role in this larger effort because our development team has now organized, under one umbrella, the development activities of the BioFrontiers Institute, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society (ATLAS), and the departments of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and Chemistry/Biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

This team has mobilized under the acronym BEST, which is short for Biotechnology, Engineering, Science, and Technology, and this reorganization reflects the reality that the passions of our donors don’t always align according to traditional academic-discipline boundaries. Our donors’ interest in helping CU tackle major societal challenges—in energy, medicine, transportation, the environment, and other areas—requires them, and us, to think in an interdisciplinary way.

With this new development structure, we feel we can now fully leverage the collaborative opportunities within the areas we represent, which weren’t previously getting quite the alignment, attention, and prioritization that they deserved.

College of Engineering and Applied Science donors have made substantial contributions since the 2006 start of the University of Colorado’s Creating Futures campaign, which so far has generated more than $1.3 billion in private support for people, places, and programs throughout CU’s four campuses. Within the college, donors have enabled the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering to move into state-of-the-art research and education facilities, and provided nearly $2 million annually in scholarship funding for undergraduate students. Overall, CEAS donors have contributed $43.9 million over the course of this campaign—well over halfway to our college campaign goal of $75 million.

As we look ahead, we continue to see amazing opportunities for innovation in biotechnology, engineering, science, and technology. Our development team is dedicated to providing first-rate support and outreach to our donors and friends in these areas, with the goal of advancing the college’s private philanthropic goals so it can achieve its promise for the future.

Please reach out to any of us on the development staff if you have a new idea of how you’d like to become involved or give back. You can reach me at 303-492-3883 or Additional team contacts are listed at

We look forward to meeting more of you, and want to close simply by thanking you all for your commitment to CU and to the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Jessica Wright
Assistant Vice President and Principal Gifts Officer

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