As a team of generous philanthropic leaders, Paul and Katy Rady have made investments in the University of Colorado Boulder that will pay dividends for decades to come.
Growing up in suburban Detroit, Paul heard friends talk of the beauty of the American West, leading him to open an atlas and choose a college sight unseen: Western State College (now Western Colorado University) in Gunnison. He hitchhiked there from Michigan and went on to earn a BA in geology in 1978, followed by a master’s degree from Western Washington University. Katy graduated the same year with a degree in graphic art and design from Grand Valley State College (now Grand Valley State University) in Allendale, Michigan.
Paul began a career in the petroleum industry at Amoco, then joined Bill Barrett Resources, becoming CEO, president and director within seven years. He left to start his own company, which he sold three years later to Marathon Petroleum. With the proceeds, Paul founded Antero Resources, which by 2017 had become the largest producer of natural gas liquids in the country.
Although neither Paul nor Katy attended the University of Colorado, they became major benefactors through personal experience with the Anschutz Medical Campus. After Katy lost her brother to cancer in 2015, she created the Paul R. O’Hara II Endowed Chair in Esophageal Cancer at the CU Cancer Center in his honor. She was the driving force in creating the Meg F. Rady and Family Chair in Congenital Cardiac Surgery. One of four daughters they adopted from China, Meg received excellent care for a heart defect at Children’s Hospital Colorado and continues to thrive today.
Their support only grew as the Radys created the endowed chair in geology at CU Boulder; established the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering at Western Colorado University; helped disadvantaged students through ACE scholarships; and donated generously to CU Engineering. Their leadership and philanthropy helped establish a new engineering collaboration with Western Colorado University, Paul’s alma mater, creating a true and vibrant partnership between Western and CU.
For their bold vision and transformative philanthropy, the Board of Regents is pleased to present the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Paul and Katy Rady.