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History

Quigg and Virginia Newton (Courtesy of the CU Heritage Center)The Quigg and Virginia Newton Chair for Leadership was established by the Newtons, CU-Boulder and the Boettcher Foundation to pay tribute to Quigg Newton's extraordinary leadership throughout the region and specifically at CU-Boulder.

Due to his dedication to CU, the Boettcher Foundation Trustees approved a $500,000 grant in August of 2001 to endow the Chair along with funding from CU. Since then, the El Pomar Foundation and other individuals have joined in support of the Chair.

James “Quigg” Newton Jr., was one of the three incorporators of the Boettcher Foundation. December 2012 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Boettcher Foundation. Quigg served on the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees from 1937 to 1955 and was Secretary of the Board for his entire tenure. During that period of time, he participated in the granting of more than $4,000,000 to roughly 140 Colorado organizations.

Newton served as Mayor of Denver from 1947 to 1955. At that time he had the distinction of being elected the youngest Mayor of Denver and also the first native born Mayor. His interest in education and his proven leadership ability led him to become the University of Colorado's eighth president from 1956 to 1963.

William E. Davis describes the Newton presidency in his book, Glory Colorado: A History of the University of Colorado, as follows:

"History will record that this era marked a pivotal point in the colorful narrative of this distinguished institution, for it was during this period that the University changed dramatically forever. It emerged from being a first-rate teaching and graduate institution to become one of the handful of the nation's most prestigious research universities."

Newton's leadership was instrumental during this period for CU and resulted in the establishment of many important laboratories and institutes including the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), the Nuclear Physics Laboratory, the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, the High Altitude Observatory, and the Institute for Computing Science.

Newton's presidency marked a period of great growth in the University's physical facilities and academic quality. He was proud of the campus's advancements in interdisciplinary work, such as the Institute of Behavioral Science. International education was also a high priority for Newton, who helped bring greater emphasis to international activities at CU. President Newton died in 2003.

Virginia Shafroth Newton, wife of Quigg Newton, is a third-generation Colorado native. "Ginny" Newton received an A.B. from Vassar College, an M.A. from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from New York University. She taught piano on a part-time basis for 18 years, worked as a counselor and as a consultant in inner-city schools in New York City, and later as a research consultant to the Rockefeller National Commission on Humanities at Stanford. She served as a trustee at Vassar College and as director on the boards of the National Camp Fire Girls and the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities.