August 2008
In This Issue
New Scholarship Program to Help Students Succeed
CU Assesses Amendment 46
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Alumni Association Benefit Spotlight
 
Show your UCCS Alumni Association membership card at the Bookstore to receive a special alumni discount.
 
With new items in stock for the fall semester, now is a great time to stock up on items from your alma mater.
 
To take advantage of this benefit (and others), contact the
at (719) 262-3180 or (800) 990-UCCS x3180. 
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Upcoming Events
 
August 20:
UCCS Convocation Ceremony featuring Gus Lee. Call (719) 262-3279 or (800) 990-UCCS x3180 for more information.
 
October 10-12:
Back to the Bluffs Weekend. Planned alumni activities include an African American Alumni Reunion, a Latino(a) Alumni Reunion and a UCCS Alumni Campus Tour. Contact the Alumni Association at (719) 262-3180 or (800) 990-UCCS x3180 for more information.
 
December 5:
UCCS Alumni Night at the Electric Safari. More information will be available as the date approaches. Contact the Alumni Association at (719) 262-3180 or (800) 990-UCCS x3180 for more information.
Greetings! Jennifer Hane

With only a few weeks remaining before the start of the fall semester, activities at UCCS are gaining momentum.
 
In the Office of Alumni Relations, we're exploring new alumni programs designed to better serve you, including a redesigned membership card, an online community, and home/life insurance programs. We'll keep you posted on these exciting initiatives as they develop.
 
In addition to the stories below, we're also happy to share the following news:
  • UCCS won several "Best Of" awards in the annual Best of Colorado Springs Competition
  • We hosted two national conferences: one regarding pandemic flu and another on school improvement
  • Construction of the Science and Engineering Building passed the halfway mark
  • We appointed a new Dean of the Graduate School and a new Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation
  • The Regents selected a new chair and approved a their operating budget for 2008-2009

Also, note the upcoming activities on the left panel of the newsletter. We're excited to welcome you back to the campus in October for Back to the Bluffs Weekend and are already looking forward to our Annual Alumni Night at the Electric Safari in December. Please mark your calendar for these special events and plan to join us as you reconnect with your alma mater.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!
 
Jennifer Hane, BA 2001, MPA 2004
Director of University Events and Alumni Relations
New Scholarship Program to Help Students Succeed
 
GraduatesThe University of Colorado and the Denver Scholarship Foundation are teaming up to provide scholarships that will cover nearly all college expenses for Denver Public Schools high school graduates who qualify for need-based financial aid. Announced in July at the University of Colorado Denver, the DSF-CU partnership will support students on CU campuses in Boulder, Colorado Springs and Denver. The partners hope this agreement will inspire all DPS students to strive for academic excellence and opportunities, and serve as a national model for successful P-20 collaborations aimed at guiding students from preschool through graduate school.
 
Depending on each family's financial situation and the campus the student will attend, these need-based scholarship packages - combined with state and federal aid - will fund tuition, fees, books and a significant part of living expenses for up to five years for eligible DPS high school graduates. DSF will contribute $5,000 to $6,000 per student each year, and CU will provide grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per year for students enrolled full time.
 
DSF board President and Chairman Tim Marquez, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, CU President Bruce D. Benson, DPS Superintendent Michael Bennet, Colorado Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Ken Turner, DSF Executive Director Cynthia Abramson and UC Denver Vice Chancellor Teresa Berryman were among the dignitaries who announced the partnership at a signing ceremony. Three DPS students who will benefit from the scholarships also participated in the announcement.
 
CommencementMarquez, a Colorado petroleum engineer and founder and CEO of oil and gas companies Marquez Energy LLC and Venoco Inc., his wife Bernadette Marquez and Mayor Hickenlooper established DSF in 2006 to help lower-income Denver high school students pay for college.
 
"We're excited to join Colorado's flagship university system to provide this significant opportunity to students from Denver Public Schools. It goes a long way toward leveling the playing field for students of need in Denver, and having been raised in the DPS district, I greatly appreciate CU's support of those students," Marquez said.
 
For his part, Benson said, "This partnership makes the dream of a college education a reality for many DPS students. We are pleased and proud to join the Denver Scholarship Foundation to create this opportunity for students who need it most."
 
Scholarships will vary depending on student financial aid and which CU campus the student attends, and will go only to incoming undergraduate students seeking their first degree. Students must demonstrate financial need each year by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and must comply with all verification requirements.
Currently, more than 400 students who graduated from DPS high schools attend CU with Pell Grant assistance that covers part of their tuition, though not all are DSF scholarship recipients. The Denver campus has 301 of the Pell eligible students from DPS, the highest percentage in the CU system, but DPS students also study at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The new financial aid is available to DSF scholars who graduated from high school in 2007 or later, and will dramatically reduce the burden of debt on incoming students with high economic need.
 
In addition to the agreement's financial component, CU and DSF have agreed to partner on outreach initiatives such as the promotion of college access for DPS students, on-campus student retention services for DSF scholars, data sharing and research, and promotion of scholarship renewal on campuses.
 
"It is a model for a comprehensive relationship between our two institutions, and one that is intended to provide opportunities for greater success for DPS students," said DSF Executive Director Cindy Abramson.
 
DanceCU and DSF also have committed to working with scholarship recipients to ensure their success on CU campuses. Advisers will refer students to appropriate support programs and track their participation as part of an overall strategy to encourage students to persist in their efforts to obtain a college education.
 
"Without careful and thoughtful academic advisement and social support students find it hard to achieve the academic goals they set for themselves," said Michael Poliakoff, vice president for academic affairs and research. "We will rely on our dedicated campus advisers to inspire them to overcome any challenges they face."
 
DPS families can access more information about these scholarship packages and eligibility requirements online.
 
For more information on scholarships available at UCCS, visit the Financial Aid website. Or, to learn about how you can make a difference, visit the "Give Back" page on the alumni website.
  CU Assesses Amendment 46

LandscapeThe University of Colorado has determined that some of its admissions programs and donor-sponsored scholarships would have to be modified if Colorado voters pass the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, prohibiting state institutions from considering gender, race, color, ethnicity or national origin when evaluating students.
 
In response to inquiries from the public and media, the University of Colorado has completed a systemwide evaluation of its admissions, scholarship, student services and student outreach programs to prepare for the possible administrative effects of the initiative, which will appear as Amendment 46 on the November 2008 election ballot. The proposal would ban state-supported institutions, including public universities, from considering gender, race, ethnicity, color or national origin for employment, contracting or educational purposes.
 
As a result of the assessment, the university has determined that, should the initiative pass, it would have no effect on outreach programs aimed at recruiting high school students, or campus student services such as academic and career advising, orientation and tutoring, because these programs are open to all students. No matter the election outcome, however, CU will continue to regard diversity in all its forms-gender, intellectual, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and geographical, among others-as fundamental institutional values, said CU President Bruce D. Benson.
 
El Pomar Center"Having a variety of perspectives involved in the learning process enhances the educational experience of all students," Benson said. "We will continue to value diversity in all its forms within the guidelines of current and any new state and federal laws."
 
Many laws and policies adopted by the CU Board of Regents reflect the institution's commitment to diversity. According to Article 10 of the CU Board of Regents' laws: "The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities."
 
The university's admissions programs involve two levels of review. Primary qualifying factors include high school or college grade point average, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities and reference letters. Secondary qualifying factors include previous work and/or research experience, socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender, legacy status (whether a candidate's parents are alumni) and first-generation college status.
 
However, should Colorado voters pass Amendment 46 in November, the university would eliminate race, ethnicity and gender as secondary factors in its admissions process at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
 
It is still unclear, however, how Amendment 46 might affect donor-sponsored scholarships. In most cases, donors who set up scholarship funds decide eligibility requirements, which might include a student's gender, race or ethnicity. At CU, about 100 such scholarships exist, primarily on the Boulder campus, and administrators are assessing how Amendment 46 might affect them. Should the ballot measure pass, the university and the CU Foundation would work with donors to preserve the spirit of their financial contributions while complying with any current or new state and federal laws.
Alumni Connections is published monthly by the Office of University Advancement in conjunction with the Office of University Events and Alumni Relations and the Office of University Relations at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to a friend by clicking the "Forward Email" link below. To unsubscribe from this list, simply click the "SafeUnsubscribe" link.