Beginning at midnight on April 13, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus held its second annual Giving Day. For 24 hours, the CU Anschutz community was encouraged to contribute to funds honoring pioneers of diversity in healthcare and the many schools and colleges across campus. This year’s theme was “Go Further, Together” – a phrase that highlights the ability of CU Anschutz students to face challenges and push through adversity to change lives for the better.
The slogan also emphasizes CU Anschutz’s partnership with the community. Giving Day is designed to provide alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University with the opportunity to make a gift that will help fuel the next wave of health science innovation and comprehensive patient care.
Support poured in from benefactors in 16 different states and many cities, from Seattle to New York and Washington, D.C.. No matter how they were connected to CU Anschutz, supporters could find a school, fund or scholarship that inspired them to give. Giving opportunities included the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, the College of Nursing, Colorado School of Public Health, School of Dental Medicine, Strauss Heath Sciences Library, and more.
Matching gifts to certain funds let supporters double their impact. Matching benefactors included John Raabe, DDS, assistant professor of restorative dentistry; Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health; and the family of Zipporah (Zippy) Parks Hammond, the first African American woman to graduate from the College of Nursing. Matches were available for several funds and scholarships that strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.
“Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare is vitally important,” said Samet. “The more students we have from diverse backgrounds, the more unique knowledge we bring to our work. The greatest innovations happen when we’re hearing from as many distinctive voices as possible.”
Matching gift benefactors
The Medical Student Diversity Fund, Colorado School of Public Health Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Scholarship and Generations Clinic also featured matching gift benefactors.
Many of the funds and scholarships available to support on Giving Day were named for trailblazers from Colorado history and beyond: Susan La Flesche Picotte, MD, the first Native American woman in the United States to receive a medical degree; Barney L. Ford, a former enslaved person who became a successful Denver businessman; Charles Blackwood, MD, the first African American graduate of the CU School of Medicine; Justina Ford, MD, Denver’s first female African American physician; and Zippy Hammond.
Each of these pioneers endured unimaginable adversity to succeed in healthcare because they cared deeply about helping people. Their relentless perseverance exemplifies the spirit of Giving Day.
Donations to the Zipporah Parks Hammond Memorial Scholarship were generously matched by her family. “We’re excited to participate in Giving Day and match every gift to Zippy Hammond’s scholarship fund,” said Darrell and Stephen Hammond, Zippy’s sons. “Our mother cared deeply about opening doors for future healthcare professionals. This fund helps break down barriers for future generations of nursing students who aspire to change the world for the better through their care.”
Notes of gratitude
The CU Anschutz Office of Advancement team worked diligently to spread the word about Giving Day, creating social media tags and banners, and encouraging students, faculty and staff to share. The message was simple: CU Anschutz is committed to fostering a diverse community of learners, dreamers, creators and world-class practitioners. With the support of the community, anything is possible.
Many benefactors included heartfelt notes about CU Anschutz with their gift: “The Biomedical Sciences Program (BSP) changed my life. I am happy to help future scientists reach their potential,” said Roberto Perales, PhD. One anonymous donor said, “Our students are the next generation of great scientists. They need our support.”
Overall, 241 generous supporters from around the country helped raise $96,862 toward advancing healthcare and training the next generation of life-saving clinicians and researchers.
“We are grateful to all those who took part in Giving Day this year,” said Don Elliman, chancellor of CU Anschutz. “Their support helps advance new discoveries that will change healthcare for the better and bolsters our work to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of our mission.”
Guest contributor: Brandon Massey, Office of Advancement