I thank him for his outstanding work to Elevate Western
After nearly 26 years of exemplary service to the Western Colorado University Foundation and our university community, Tom Burggraf will step down from his position as executive director on June 30, 2023. Beginning July 1, as part of a new organizational structure, Vice President of Advancement Mike LaPlante will oversee the Foundation staff and support the board of directors. The new organizational structure will align alumni relations, career services, institutional fundraising, and donor relations under the Office of Advancement.
“I would like to recognize Tom for the tremendous job he has done building relationships with our alums and community members while generating resources that have strengthened our university,” says President Brad Baca. “On behalf of Western and the many students, donors, and community members he has so positively impacted, I thank him for his outstanding work to Elevate Western.”
The WCU Foundation has raised more than $125 million in its 47 years of existence, all but $6 million raised under Tom’s leadership. Additionally, the Foundation’s endowment has grown to over $30 million, with more than 300 privately funded scholarships supporting our students. Tom has been instrumental in Western’s philanthropic accomplishments over the past 26 years, including:
- The Borick Business Building, which was the first major academic building at any public Colorado college or university built, furnished, and equipped entirely through private investment.
- Securing Western’s largest land donation to date – 18 acres from alumni Steve Trippe and Steve Reynolds
- Helping launch the Energy Management program through private support of alumni, friends, and corporations.
- Assisting in the naming of the Clark Family School of Environment & Sustainability
- Significant expansion of gifts of $1 million or more to the University
“Tom has been instrumental in the growth of the WCU Foundation, and his leadership and passion have accelerated the impact private support has made on the many students, faculty, coaches, and staff on the Western campus,” says WCU Foundation President Valerie Hastings. “His love for Western has been transformational and will carry on as his legacy.”