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Celebrating a Tradition of Giving

Founded in 1870, Colorado State University is celebrating its 150th anniversary throughout the 2019-20 academic year. From the moment the first graduating class received their diplomas, alumni have committed themselves to making an impact in their communities, the world, and their alma mater through their talents, hard work, and ongoing generosity.

These stories highlight how that generosity has increased access and opportunity for students, helped build and enhance world-class educational facilities, funded ground-breaking research, and supported programs that extend the University's resources far beyond campus. Thanks to you, Rams everywhere can look back on a record of excellence rooted in our land-grant mission while looking forward to another 150 years of impact. 

Preserving Colorado's Flora

The Charles Maurer Herbarium Collection, housed in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University, is the oldest in Colorado, conserving examples of more than 100,000 species of flora, with specimens dating back to the very beginning.

This library of plants is available for students, researchers, and the general public to enjoy and gain a deeper understanding of the genetic and evolutionary history of Colorado’s ecosystems and ways to protect these valuable, irreplaceable resources.

“Botany was once viewed as a new frontier to explore,” says Jennifer Ackerfield (B.S., ’96, botany; M.S., ’01, botany), curator of the herbarium, “and land-grant institutions like CSU made botany a priority field of study.” 

Ackerfield connected with CSU alum Charles Maurer (B.S., ’61, general agriculture; M.S., ’63, botany and plant pathology) through her research. Maurer has helped fund the herbarium, making a naming gift of $158,000 in 2018 that has been used to improve facilities, increase collections, and support botanical research.