University of Denver
Office of Gift Planning
2044 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
Toll Free: 800.448.3238
Meet Our Team
Executive Director of Gift Planning
Jon Kraus joined University Advancement in March 2015. As Executive Director of Gift Planning, Jon works with donors, advisors and university partners to explore options for making tax-wise gifts that can have the most impact possible on the university and our students. Prior to joining Gift Planning, Jon was Director of Development for the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver from 2013 to 2015. Jon has 17 years’ experience in financial planning and nonprofit development at various for-profit, non-profit and educational institutions in Denver and Boston. Jon earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver and a Master’s of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Jon enjoys reading, watching movies, hiking, biking, home brewing, and spending time with his wife Kristen and their three children, Joseph, Samuel and Magdalene.
Mary Pat Brennan
Director of Development, Gift Planning
Mary Pat Brennan joined University Advancement in January of 2018 as the Director of Development, Gift Planning and enjoys working with donors, advisers and university partners to create a lasting impression on the University of Denver. Focusing on tax-savvy planning techniques, Mary Pat delights in collaborating with donors to ensure they create their legacy in a way that makes the most meaningful impact on their family, the university, and our students. Mary Pat brings 7 years of experience as a development professional, including fundraising for arts, cultural, and education organizations in both Denver and Chicago. Mary Pat earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Drake University and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from DePaul University. Mary Pat lives in Denver with her husband, Calen, and their golden retriever, Stanley, and loves to read, volunteer and escape to the mountains whenever possible.
Karen J. Shaw
Director of Development, Gift Planning
Karen Shaw joined University Advancement in August 2018 as Director of Development, Gift Planning. Karen partners with DU alumni and friends to build your philanthropic legacy in a way that matches your passions to the university’s innovative initiatives. She brings 25 years of non-profit and higher education development experience to this role, most recently serving as Vice-President and Chief Development Officer of an Oregon health care system. Karen earned her BS in Home Economics and Communication from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and is now pursuing her Masters of Divinity with a Social Justice emphasis at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. Karen’s passions include writing, jewelry-making, reading (especially mysteries), human rights advocacy, and spending time with her family in Oregon and in the South.
Gift Planning Coordinator
Linda Melick has been with the University of Denver since 2003 and joined the Gift Planning team in June of 2017. She supports Gift Planning by focusing on estate administration and oversight of life-income gifts.
During her time at DU, Linda has always been in the Advancement division. Prior to joining Gift Planning, she was assistant to the vice chancellor and also worked in Principal Gifts and Advancement Initiatives. She received her degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Geneseo and previously worked in hospital administration, investment banking, computer technology and human resources. Linda lives in Denver with her husband, Jordan, and greatly enjoys reading, working out and almost anything that gets her outdoors.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.