Published: May 7, 2014

Career development at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business will benefit from a $500,000 commitment from Phillips 66, an energy manufacturing and logistics company.

The gift will go toward the Leeds School’s Career Development Office, which supports undergraduates by providing professional skills, career exploration and preparation, industry experiences and access to employer and alumni connections throughout the student experience.  

“The broad and overarching reach of this investment supports our students, faculty and staff by enhancing our promise to well prepare students for careers in business while bolstering Phillips 66 as an elite partner in our community,” said David L. Ikenberry, dean of the Leeds School.

Cort Wernz, who this month will graduate with a concurrent bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in accounting, twice interned at Phillips 66 during his time as a student at the Leeds School and has been hired full time by the company.

“Phillips 66 and the Leeds School share the same values: a commitment to the highest level of performance in everything they do and a steadfast desire to develop their people and ultimately lives,” said Wernz. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for this vote of confidence in our partnership and I look forward to participating as an alum in the Leeds School’s mentorship program.”

Through a separate gift, Phillips 66 was an early investor in the Leeds School’s mentorship program, which has seen large growth in participation in its five-year history from 263 to 2,750 students and mentors currently participating.

“Phillips 66 is honored to be a strategic partner with the Leeds School,” said Chantal Veevaete, senior vice president of human resources at Phillips 66. “We are pleased to present this gift to further strengthen student development and enhance the Leeds student experience.”

The gift ties into the Leeds School’s Whole Student Experience initiative implemented in 2012. The goal of the approach is to help students discover and optimize their career possibilities through the school’s comprehensive student services -- from the Career Development Office to the global initiatives program, the Office of Diversity Affairs and more.

Phillips 66 supports numerous university scholarships, student clubs, research and initiatives. It gave a total of $3.5 million to CU-Boulder’s Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, which opened in 2012.

For more information about the Leeds School visit