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As the director of grants at the University of Colorado Denver, Valerie Brown ‘62 knows the importance of giving first hand. For

more than 25 years, Brown (a CU-Boulder alumna) has been making contributions that have supported students from diverse backgrounds in order to make their education more affordable and attainable.

Brown said she was grateful to graduate from college debt-free, thanks to help from her family, and she hopes to provide the same support to CU Denver students. In the process of stewarding donors, Brown finds it important for them to know that she gives with hopes that it reinforces the notion that she truly believes in the institution beyond just as a place of work.“Once upon a time, it was possible for someone to graduate from high school and get a solid entry-level job and support a family,” she said, “Now, you can’t do that, which makes the importance of investing in the possibility of education more and more compelling.”

Of the six different student and Chancellor’s funds Brown has donated to, one that stands out to her is the BA/BS-MD Student Scholarship Fund, which supports students on an eight-year track at CU Denver and CU Anschutz who are committed to serving the health care needs of Colorado as primary care physicians. Many medical school graduates are choosing to practice in more specialized fields so the need for primary care doctors is not being met in Colorado. From the first two cohorts, nine students have received bachelor’s degrees and entered medical school with 100 percent of their tuition covered by the university and other external sources.

“If these students are willing to take the chance and put in the hours, they can make it,” Brown said. “The goal of the program is for each student to get through undergrad and medical school with no debt.”