Bob and Vicki Gray

Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders

Bob and Vicki Gray

Written 6-20-2011

As our last living parent passed away, it occurred to us that our sun is also sinking in the western sky. Not a pleasant thought, but inevitable. As we began putting our affairs in order, we reflected on our happiness and successes over our 45 years of marriage.

First and foremost was the benefits derived from having a good education as many doors were opened that would have otherwise remained closed. We both obtained our degrees from the University of Denver (Bob, BSBA '66 and Vicki, BSBA '62 and MPA '66).

We realize that paying tuition can be a struggle for many students as was our situation when we attended DU. Bob was in the Air National Guard stationed at Buckley Air Force Base and held other part time jobs. Vicki worked as a grocery checker and appreciated a partial scholarship from the University.

The faculty really cared about their students. We especially appreciated the help we received from J.J. (Jimmy) Johnston-Business Law and Lee Evans-Building Industries and Real Estate.

J.J. made learning fun. However, he also worked his magic outside of the classroom. For example, he was persuasive in helping the football players retain their scholarships when the University abolished the sport. Closer to home, he provided pro bono legal advice when Bob got two speeding tickets reporting for duty at Buckley. There are many other stories about J.J. that can be told by others he helped.

Lee Evans also went the extra mile for his students. In our case, he arranged for a grant so Bob could complete his course work on schedule. He loaned us a cabin at his ranch for our honeymoon and rented us a duplex which become our first home.

When we discovered that both of these gentleman had established endowments to provide scholarships for deserving students we decided to participate. We entered an endowment agreement with the University in which the proceeds are equally divided between the James J. and Jean B. Johnston Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Lee and Virginia Evans Endowed Scholarship Fund. We have the option of making annual contributions and we have named the University the beneficiary of our IRA's therefore no taxes will be paid.

Having come full circle from receiving to giving, we hope more alumni consider some form of gifting to the University as tomorrow's leaders will also appreciate the opportunity they were given through our gifts.