The relationship between the University of Colorado and the Boettcher Foundation has a long, collaborative history.

In 1950 the president of CU at the time, Robert Stearns, worked closely with then Chancellor Albert Jacob and the Boettcher foundation to help establish a scholarship for Colorado students. Robert Stearns would later become the president of the Boettcher Foundation.

Thanks to the extreme generosity of the Boettcher Foundation the first Boettcher Scholarships were awarded in 1952.There were 350 applications back then for twelve scholarships–and seven of those original recipients attended CU!

Later there were twenty scholarships distributed per year for deserving Colorado students. In the mid to late 1950s, the Foundation began to award forty students per year. At times, up to 25 of those 40 Scholars chose CU as their institution of choice. As of 2010 more than 750 Scholars have graduated from the University of Colorado.

In the mid 1990s CU proposed to the Boettcher Foundation a new structure for its Scholars that would more formally provide mentoring, programming, support and collegiality for the students, dramatically shifting the Boettcher Scholarship at CU from a monetary award to a “community of scholars.”

In 2009, the Boettcher Foundation gave a generous endowment to develop the Professional and Academic Conference Endowment (PACE) to fill a demonstrated need for undergraduates to take the next step beyond research, scholarly and creative projects to presenting that work at professional conferences

Now, CU Boettcher Scholars as a group heavily participate in social, community, and academic events, as well as leadership and honors programs, research, creative and scholarly work, and internships, community service, and student government. They have published in professional journals and presented at professional conferences. And they regularly compete for top national and international scholarships.

Our current students continue in the tradition of CU Boettcher Scholar Alumni who were, and continue to be, actively engaged in their communities.