Women and Philanthropy

Empowering Women Through

Passion, Purpose, Philanthropy

Women and Philanthropy at Colorado State University’s mission is to connect and empower a community to elevate women and philanthropy at CSU. It was designed as University Advancement’s response to then-President Tony Frank’s charge to make CSU the best place for women to work and learn. Philanthropy is vital to the overall success of supporting this charge and the University’s land-grant mission.

You might ask – why the philanthropic focus on women?

*Two of every five households have women as primary breadwinners.

*50 percent of single women give to charity compared to 40 percent of single men.

* The IRS reports that 43 percent of the nation’s top wealth holders - individuals with assets of $1.5 million or more - are women.

*90 percent of philanthropic decisions in high net worth households are made by women or influenced by women as an equal partner.

*The wealthiest 25 percent of women give 156 percent more compared to their male peers.

To join Women and Philanthropy at CSU, we encourage our members to give a minimum of $50 annually to the fund or area that connects to their interests.

In addition to giving your gift you must join Women and Philanthropy by using the link below.

If you have any questions with how to get involved, please contact Colleen.Meyer@colostate.edu or call her at (970) 491-3110.


International Women’s Day (March 8, 2019) is a time to reflect on the progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Women and Philanthropy partnered with CSU’s Office of International Programs to present Portraits of Resiliency: Reflections of CSU Women; a gallery featuring the stories of 23 resilient CSU women.

Cassie Rosch, a 2009 College of Liberal Arts alumna and talented photographer, captured a unique photo of each woman. Four CSU graduate students interviewed the subjects and combed through hours of interviews to identify the quote that best encompassed each woman’s story. 

“Single stories are harmful. I’ve seen how narrow-mindedness and unwillingness to explore multiple truths can sever perception and communities. As a photographer, I strive to capture multiple narratives to continue to broaden the perspectives of others and my own.”

Cassie Rosch, ‘09

“I admire the women who keep coming up to the surface, it doesn't matter what happens, they just keep coming up to the surface.” 

Susan Harness, ’06, ‘16

Author, Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption & Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption: Outcomes of the Indian Adoption Project

Read more about Susan Harness here.

“Who am I to say I can’t do this?”

Blanche Hughes, '84, '95

Colorado State University Vice President for Student Affairs

“No one ever knows how resilient they are, until it’s tested.”

Dana Hughes, '98
Senior Communications Officer, UN Refugee Agency in Africa

Read more about Dana Hughes here.

“There have been lots of contributions made by women over time, often history forgets those women. I think it is claiming not only what contributions you might have made, and doing so unabashedly. I think it is important for us to do it for each other.”

Mary Ontiveros, '73, '79
Colorado State University Vice President for Diversity

“I’m just surrounded by people who have an impact on my life, and I can have an impact on their life.”

Brittany Rhanes
Recruiting Flight Commander, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 90, Colorado State University

“I made my decision to stay here, and am going to work on it. It is not going to be so easy for me, because I’m still struggling with low income and being able to pay my bills and questioning what I’m going to do next. I need some strength, but I still have hope.”

Hana’a Thigeel, '10, '16




CSU alumna Zubaida Bai’s clean birth kits have impacted more than 600,000 mothers and babies worldwide. Learn how she developed the business as a student in CSU’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise M.B.A.


CSU alumna and New Belgium Brewing Company’s co-founder and CEO, Kim Jordan, has made a radical impact on the CSU community and beyond through giving. Watch her video and learn more about what inspires her to give.

CSU Women and Philanthropy is a proud Mission Sponsor of United Way of Larimer County’s WomenGive program and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado.