The Alumni Recognition Award honors CU Boulder alumni who celebrate the Forever Buffs tenets of connecting, contributing and celebrating their CU pride through their extraordinary service to CU Boulder.
Jeff Osterkamp (MEngr'97)
There are many recipes for success in our world. All share this ingredient: Opportunity. Time and again, Jeff Osterkamp has proved his commitment to producing it for CU Boulder students — especially students from groups underrepresented in engineering fields.
A high-level executive at Ball Aerospace and past chair of the advisory council for the engineering college’s BOLD Center (Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity), Jeff shows up and makes things happen.
One signature initiative has paid especially rich dividends: The creation of Ball internships for students in the college’s GoldShirt program. These promising Buffs, typically from under-resourced high schools, have obvious potential, but need an extra year of engineering fundamentals to prepare for the full curriculum. Every year the Ball program brings Goldshirt students into, and often back to, the company, positioning them for full-time employment later.
“Jeff walks the walk for diverse students,” said an engineering assistant dean.
Despite the demands of Jeff’s role as Ball’s vice president for mission assurance, leading quality control for all products and processes, the 30-year aerospace industry veteran is a frequent campus presence.
“You can always find Jeff at a student networking event by locating the largest circle of students,” the assistant dean said. “Jeff will be in the middle.”
Said a Ball colleague who’s witnessed it: “He will make an effort to talk to each and every student.”
Always it’s with sincerity and respect.
“Regardless of rank, status or title,” another of Jeff’s fans said, “he always treats everyone the same.”
If you were naming Forever Buffs who live and breathe CU, you’d have to include Ron Scott. CU has been part of his identity for more than 50 years, and he lets you know it.
“One common theme for Ron throughout his life is carrying the CU torch at all times whether he is working, volunteering or doing errands on a weekend,” said a CU Advancement colleague.
Ron came to CU as part of football coach Eddie Crowder’s first freshman class. He was a star on the field, and started three seasons as middle guard.
After college, he spent 14 years in the private sector, including a stint as general manager of Hotel Boulderado. He returned to his alma mater in the ‘80s and served as the Buff Club’s development director and as assistant athletic director, helping to raise $14 million for the Dal Ward Athletic Center.
From that point, Ron was a fundraising dynamo, shepherding large gifts to CU Athletics. He’s seen at virtually every CU event and activity, whether it’s giving a potential student a tour of campus or attending a game-day tailgate, and establishes meaningful conversation beyond the world of sports.
“Ron Scott is the epitome of professionalism and enthusiasm,” said one CU Regent.
Ron is a true CU steward. As a former teammate summed things up: “To many of us, Ron is CU.”