Our network of students and faculty form a dynamic community that supports students throughout their time at CU. One of the ways that we nurture the connections between community members are with dinners and other gatherings at which students can socialize with fellow students, faculty members, and inspiring guest speakers. Our past speakers at these gatherings include Chips Barry, the former manager of Denver Water; Senator Michael Bennet; CU law professor and the Center’s co-founder, Charles Wilkinson; Nick and Helen Forster of “eTown”; Senator John Hickenlooper; Governor Bill Ritter; Colorado Supereme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs; writers Ivan Doig, Thomas McGuane, and David Treuer; Pawnee/Yakama artist Bunky Echo-Hawk, and Zuni farmer and museum curator Jim Enote.
In April 2012, the Center received $5,000 from an anonymous donor to establish a fund in memory of Grace Kempton, who passed away in February 2012. In keeping with her warmth, community-minded spirit, and love of social gatherings, the Grace Kempton fund supports cozy student dinners and other gatherings featuring inspiring, noteworthy Westerners.