A longtime supporter of diversity and inclusion efforts within the College of Engineering and Applied Science and across Colorado, Campos said he felt called to make an immediate impact when the pandemic took hold this spring. He grew concerned that the pandemic was creating a greater burden among first-generation and underrepresented students. He felt that now, more than ever, these students needed an enhanced center of support and connection.
"We have to do something to help where we can," Campos said. "This isn't business as usual. People are suffering, and we have to consider the long-term effects of this crisis."
The BOLD Center seeks to broaden opportunities through leadership and diversity. The center, located in the heart of the Engineering Center, provides a community space as well as affinity-based programming for students historically underrepresented in engineering.
Campos said he hopes the renovated center will help these students feel that they matter, especially those who must balance providing for their families and pursuing their education.
"At this time, we really have to care about the people," Campos said.
Photo Courtesy of Beth Mosenthal, Anderson Mason Dale Architects
The renovation brings a dramatic improvement to the center's technological offerings, allowing for remote and in-person learning through lecture capture and enhanced digital displays. The transformation also will provide better lighting, more space for students, and opportunities for students to create cultural displays, engineering projects and artwork.
"This renovation is not just about a physical space; it's about empowering a community. It shows that we care about these students, and that we are investing in their transformative engineering experience," said Tanya Ennis, director of the BOLD Center.
By renovating the center during the summer, the college will avoid disrupting the more than 1,000 students who regularly make use of the center during the school year. The BOLD Center’s renovation has been in planning for the past two years and was slated to begin in 2022, but the campus closure and Campos’ gift provided a unique opportunity for the college to rapidly accelerate the timeline.
Interim Dean Keith Molenaar said the college is proud to have the support of Campos EPC in areas that will directly help students and advance the college’s long-term vision.
"Marco's passion for STEM education and desire to serve underrepresented minority and female students is truly inspiring. The BOLD Center gift will be felt for many years into the future," Molenaar said.
A legacy of philanthropy
When Campos was a civil engineering student, he was a part of the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) at CU Boulder. The program started in 1973 and was a precursor to the BOLD Center.
"That experience was everything,” Campos said. “It set the stage for me wanting to emulate MEP in my own philanthropic activities."
The Campos EPC Foundation now directly impacts over 3,900 students from kindergarten through college every year. The foundation provides various STEM opportunities as well as scholarships, internships, endowments and summer bridge programs. All of the foundation's efforts go toward directly impacting students, Campos said.
Campos EPC as a company also holds these values of inclusive excellence and empowerment. The company has grown greatly since its founding, but remains, as Campos says, "a small company with a big heart.” The company focuses on ethical treatment of its workforce and clients through stringent safety certifications and the company's pledge to ethics, performance and compliance. The company actively works to have a positive impact in energy infrastructure.
EngiNearMe students solder circuit boards during the bridge program
At CU Boulder, the foundation funds EngiNearMe, a summer bridge program that empowers rising high school seniors traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Students design engineering projects and learn about the resources and opportunities at the college. The program also provides a scholarship for each EngiNearMe student who chooses to enroll in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder.
"Very few of our graduates have made such an impact on our engineering community so quickly," said Molenaar. "Marco’s impact as an engineer and businessman can be seen in the growth and success of Campos EPC. The company’s values and spirit of giving back mirror Marco’s personal values."
(Alexandra) Grace Wilson is the BOLD Center Communications Coordinator in the College of Engineering & Applied Science.