Happy 146th, CSU! Dr. Stephen Withrow to be honored on Founders Day

Colorado State University will celebrate its 146th anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 11, with a Founders Day Celebration to honor the people who have shaped it and to highlight the values that have sustained the University and its enduring land-grant mission of service through teaching, research and engagement.

Professor Stephen J. Withrow Director, Animal Cancer Center Stuart Chair in Oncology and University Distinguished Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Professor Withrow poses with Angela (do not use last name) L. Kimball a cancer survivor. Model release on file at CSU Photography
Professor Stephen J. Withrow with his labrador, Jackie, and Angela, a cancer survivor.

As part of the 146th anniversary celebration, CSU will honor Dr. Stephen Withrow, founding director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center, with the prestigious Founders Day Medal in a public ceremony at the Lory Student Center on campus.

The Flint Animal Cancer Center is one of the largest facilities of its kind. Veterinarians see nearly 6,000 patients each year, and there are currently 12 oncologists-in-training on staff. The center has played a major role in relaying the idea that dogs and cats offer a unique insight into cancer care for humans.

Withrow, a veterinary surgical oncologist and a Colorado State University Distinguished Professor, pioneered the surgical treatment of pets with cancer and is known for working with cancer physicians around the world to advance the medical field. He has collaborated with a Denver cancer physician to develop limb-sparing surgical techniques that have become standards of care for both animals and people with bone cancer.

In human medicine, these advances notably benefit children, who are most often the ones diagnosed with osteosarcoma and other forms of bone cancer. From the start of his career, Withrow has seen cancer as a disease that affects animals and people in similar ways. With this perspective, he has viewed cancer research and treatment as important opportunities for collaboration between human and animal doctors – with outcomes that provide critical knowledge in the fight to cure cancer for both people and pets.

“No matter how he tries to deflect the spotlight, there is no denying that Steve is at the heart of all of the events that shaped the creation of arguably one of the finest cancer centers in the world, and he’s done it with courage, compassion, and a boldness grounded in a firm understanding of the why,” said CSU President and Chancellor Tony Frank.

RSVP for the ceremony

The Founders Day Ceremony held to honor Dr. Withrow begins at 4 p.m. in LSC Ballrooms C and D. The ceremony is free and open to the public. Registration for the event is encouraged.

Other Founders Day events

Other events will occur at both the state Capitol in Denver and on campus in Fort Collins.


CSU System Chancellor and CSU President Tony Frank, Executive Vice Chancellor Amy Parsons, CSU Global President Becky Takeda-Tinker, and CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare will host a breakfast reception starting at 7:30 a.m. for legislators outside the Old Supreme Court Chambers on the second floor of the state Capitol.

CSU legislative interns will join the reception and the CSU Chamber Choir will perform on the third-floor rotunda of the Capitol between 8:20 and 8:50 a.m. The legislative session begins at 9 a.m.

Fort Collins

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of CSU will join CAM the Ram, the CSU Pep Band and CSU cheerleaders on the plaza of the main campus for the Founders Day celebration, starting at 1:46 p.m. Commemorative cookies and bookmarks will be distributed.

Past recipients of the Founders Day Medal

Colorado State University has presented the Founders Day Medal annually since 2010:

140th Founders Day: Monfort family

In 2010, the Monfort family was presented with the inaugural CSU Founders Day Medal in honor of their great contributions to the university and their leadership on behalf of CSU and higher education, including Warren Monfort and Kenny Monfort’s service on our governing board. The Monfort Family Foundation in 2002 gave CSU $5 million – at the time, the largest single gift in university history – to support the Monfort Excellence Fund. The Monfort Excellence Fund has had a tremendous impact on CSU and local communities through its scholarships for exceptional students; support of outstanding faculty; by bringing accomplished leaders from business, government and the arts to campus to interact with students; and public lectures delivered by international leaders.

141st: Maurice Albertson

Maury Albertson was the second recipient of the Founders Day Medal, awarded posthumously. Albertson, a Centennial Emeritus Professor, served CSU as the first director of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, director of International Programs, and professor of civil engineering. One of Albertson’s most enduring legacies was his critical role in a feasibility study that led to the formation of the Peace Corps.

142nd: Pat Stryker

Pat Stryker was recognized as the third recipient of the Founders Day Medal for her long-term, transformational support of the university’s academic and athletic programs. Her leadership has been essential to projects including the creation of the Albert C. Yates Chair in Mathematics in the College of Natural Sciences; Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program and the Rockwell Hall expansion in the College of Business; Bohemian Complex at the University Center for the Arts, which encompasses the University Theatre, the Studio Theatre, the Black Box Theater and the William E. Runyan Rehearsal Hall; land-development improvements to the Environment Learning Center for the Warner College of Natural Resources; and support of CSU Athletics, including Ram Legacy Scholarships.

143rd: William and Lilla Morgan

Bill and Lilla Morgan were the fourth recipients of the annual Founders Day Medal, also awarded posthumously, with their children accepting the honor on their behalf.

During his two-decade tenure as president of CSU, Bill oversaw a 15-fold expansion of the Fort Collins campus, including athletic facilities, an engineering center, chemistry annex, plant and animal sciences buildings, additions to the student center, faculty apartments, several residence hall and Eddy Hall. Bill also played a key role in obtaining funds for a new library building, named in his honor when it opened in 1965.

Lilla was influential in the Fort Collins community, supporting the fine arts, symphonies and theater performances. Lilla founded the original Fort Collins book club and led the charge to raise funds for the Lincoln Center, now the city’s premier performing arts venue.

144th: Tom and Jean Sutherland

Tom Sutherland, a long-time member of CSU’s faculty, and his wife, Jean, were recognized as the fifth recipients of the Founders Day Medal for their devotion to education and the Fort Collins community. Since the early 1970s, Tom has served as a committee member and board member for numerous entities, including the city’s planning and zoning board, the AMC Cancer Research Center, Larimer County United Way, Colorado Boys Ranch and a chairman of the National Teaching Committee of the American Society of Animal Science.

Jean, also a member of the CSU faculty, has served on the Board for the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and has been a strong supporter of key community initiatives, including UniverCity Connections, Homeward 2020, and the Colorado Conservation Exchange. Together, Tom and Jean established the Sutherland Family Foundation, which has supported several Fort Collins nonprofits including the Food Bank for Larimer County, Bas Bleu Theatre, and KUNC radio. They also have contributed to the Colorado Boys Ranch, agricultural scholarships at Colorado State as well as the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, and Crossroads Safehouse.

145th: Bob and Joyce Everitt

The Everitts have been strong advocates for Colorado State University for more than 60 years, since they first moved to Fort Collins in 1953. After establishing the original Everitt Lumber Company, they soon branched out into commercial and residential real estate development, taking the lead on major projects across Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  In Fort Collins, they developed residential neighborhoods and commercial properties, including the Foothills Mall and the Center for Advanced Technology (in partnership with the CSU Research Foundation).

Bob has served on the University’s governing board, the Board of the CSU Foundation, the CSU Development Council, the Campaign Leadership Council, and on advisory councils for the College of Business and the Equine Teaching and Research Center. Joyce has been an advocate for education, children, and the arts and helped establish both the Fort Collins Children’s Theater and the Pi Beta Phi sorority at CSU. She also served for many years on the Lincoln Center Board.