As CSU President Tony Frank addressed the gathering in the ballroom at the Lory Student Center during the first Women & Philanthropy symposium, he couldn’t help but reflect on his own path through life.
“I look around this room and back across the trail of my life, and I see so much that has been given to me and so much that has been changed within me by women I met along the way,” he said as he kicked off the gathering of more than 200 women and men. “As I stand here in my 10th year as president, I can’t help but wonder about the change that all of you will lead in this university over the next decade through your philanthropy. Where will you direct, nudge or shove CSU? My prediction is that whatever direction that change takes, it will be spectacular.”
The symposium, titled Radical Generosity, included a panel discussion, a message from Kim Tobin, CSU’s vice president for university advancement, remarks by prominent CSU supporter Paula Edwards, inspiration from New Belgium Brewing’s Kim Jordan, and a keynote by Vicki Saunders, who founded SheEO to raise funds to support hundreds of women-led companies throughout the world.
Women & Philanthropy was created as part of the Women’s Initiative, Frank’s charge to make CSU the best possible place for women to work, learn and thrive.
“Women continue to have a growing influence in philanthropic and financial decisions in our world and they make a remarkable impact at CSU,” Tobin said. “We were joined by over 200 women that represent every college and unit on our campus. Collectively these women have given $66 million, which has impacted CSU greatly. These women are passionate about CSU and the areas that they support, they are some of our greatest partners and advocates as we work to make CSU simply the best place to work and learn for women.”
CSU alumna Bai featured
Alumna Zubaida Bai, who created a company called ayzh, which has sold more than 300,000 clean birth kits in developing countries, was among the panelists. Bai’s company recently was awarded a $100,000 loan by SheEO.
“Zubaida Bai is a tremendous example of the radical generosity we experience at CSU,” Tobin said. “Zubaida was able to attend CSU because of scholarships from radically generous people in our community, and she is continuing this cycle of generosity through her work designing and delivering birth kits to underserved women.”
Attendees were encouraged to celebrate their individual and collective impact and support a CSU program or initiative they are passionate about.