President Benson and his wife Marcy have been close and dear friends to me and my wife Yvonne for many years. They have been tireless supporters of all four CU campuses, and we want to express our sincere appreciation for all they’ve done for the Boulder campus in particular. Bruce received his degree in geology at CU Boulder in 1964 and has helped our campus grow, gain more funding and be more recognized around the world. He’s also been a major donor and the Benson Earth Sciences building here bears his name. That’s a visible example of his contributions, but there are so many more.
During his tenure, he successfully increased financial aid from the institution from $88 million to $184 million; boosted research funding from $660 million to $1.03 billion; increased fundraising from $135 million to more than $400 million; growing CU’s endowment from $640 million to $1.2 billion; and increasing the overall budget from $2.2 billion to $4.5 billion. He is renowned for successfully optimizing the operations of CU so that the costs of education can be held down.
With that strength in management of the entire system, CU Boulder as a campus has been able to develop a dynamic strategy and underlying initiatives to be transformative in how we approach education. I am excited that our vision to be a leader in addressing the humanitarian, social and technological challenges of the 21st century through developing leaders, ensuring we have a positive impact on the world and being a top innovative university is taking shape. We have many initiatives advancing this vision such as Academic Futures, Foundations of Excellence (the first-year experience project), and the Unified Student Experience Project to transform our IT interface experience for students. This campus is leading the way in demonstrating how a public research university with low state funding can dynamically transform the model for being a highly impactful force for good in society.
As the Board of Regents determines the next steps for selecting our next president, my cabinet and I stand ready to provide our support and assistance.
Philip P. DiStefano