University puts donors in the spotlight for transformative gifts that help 'faculty, staff and students push the boundaries of the possible'
March 13, 2015
The annual Donor Recognition Dinner highlighted stories of risk-taking entrepreneurs, benefactors who have touched both the learning pursuits of CU Denver and the clinical activities of CU Anschutz, and a physician who served the university for over 50 years.
About 500 people attended the eighth annual event in the Seawall Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Thursday evening. Booths displaying current research and education projects being conducted by CU Denver and CU Anschutz students and faculty lined the edges of the ballroom.
The donor generosity that fuels those projects and many more like them, as well as the endowments that enrich students’ educational experience and the new facilities that enhance our campuses and help push the boundaries of scientific discovery, was put in the spotlight—both at the podium and on the screen. The special contributions of each donor recognized—entrepreneur Jake Jabs, the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation and Guillermo “Bill” Aragon, MD, and his late wife Maria de Lourdes Aragon—were shown in compelling video stories.
The video about Dr. Aragon’s contributions included his amusing tale of racing through downtown Denver streets one night to get to then-Denver General Hospital in time to perform surgery on a police officer who’d been shot. When Dr. Aragon got pulled over for speeding en route, he sternly told the officer, “If you detain me for as much as a few minutes, your fellow officer is going to die.”
The contributions of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, represented by Executive Director Susan Steele and President Daniel Ritchie, span both the comprehensive teaching and learning pursuits of CU Denver and the health and clinical activities of CU Anschutz. “With support for a range of vital initiatives, from excellence in early childhood education to innovation in biomanufacturing, the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation is making it possible for the university to advance its important work in so many fields and to create a bright future for the people of Colorado,” Elliman said.
Dr. Aragon has served the university in many ways over the years, starting with a medical residency in 1951 and later teaching surgery to medical students while practicing as a surgeon at Denver General. With a generous gift of an endowed chair in surgery, Dr. Aragon and his late wife Maria allow the university to advance the field of surgery and recognize top faculty.
Aragon summed up the giving-back theme of the evening by saying, “Every single one of us who goes to a medical school, or anywhere else, owes a tremendous debt to the institution. It’s terribly important that we all help this great institution.”