CU Generations - Special Edition Spotlight Koelbel

How many generations of Buffs do you have in your family?
I’m a third generation CU graduate. Both my paternal grandparents attended CU Boulder. My grandfather (Papa) arrived from Muskegon, MI for naval officer’s training during WWII and my grandmother (Mimi) was a Colorado native who graduated from East High School in Denver.

Why did you choose to come to Leeds?
I applied to a number of MBA programs with strong real estate programs, but when it came down to the decision between the final two, Mimi gently weighed in. She ‘suggested’ that CU would be the best program due to its strong alumni network.  Given that I intended to make Colorado my home, there was no question where I was headed after that.  Just one of the many bits of wisdom she gave me.

What do you remember your grandparent(s) sharing about their time at CU?
Mimi always talked about her sorority sisters and the fun she had while in college. In fact, she hosted an annual reunion for her sorority sisters up until her early 90’s. Papa would reminisce about his time playing offensive line at 6’2” and 190 lbs on the CU football team (it was a different sport back then). He also spoke vividly about his first time seeing the Flatirons, and at that moment he knew he would never live anywhere but Colorado. 

What is one piece of advice/best practice your grandparent(s) shared that has stuck with you?
My grandparents cared very deeply about philanthropy. Papa always held a great deal of gratitude for the communities that helped shape him, like the University of Colorado. He always gave great importance to ‘pay it forward’ and ensure that future generations could benefit from a strong education in the manner he did. Mimi’s philosophy could simply and beautifully be described as ‘find somebody that needs help, and help them’. Both my grandparents taught me the joy and fulfillment of volunteerism and philanthropy. 

September 2018