Former US Senator Hank Brown has recently taken over as the CEO and President of the Daniels Fund, Colorado’s largest private foundation. On July 12th Hank has agreed to talk about the “Future of Philanthropy” at the DaVinci Institute’s Night with a Futurist.

Hank Brown had already had quite a career before coming to head the Daniels Fund, established in 1998 by the late cable TV mogul Bill Daniels and headquartered in Denver. Just before taking charge of the foundation this summer, Brown was serving as president of the University of Northern Colorado. Before that, he had served Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives and later spent one term in the Senate, where he was an early advocate of work-based welfare reform. A star football player and student body president at the University of Colorado, Brown later served as a naval aviator in Vietnam. (Bill Daniels was also a naval aviator, serving in World War II and Korea. He and the fund are perhaps best known for the Daniels College Prep and Scholarship Program, profiled in the March/April 2000 issue of Philanthropy Magazine.)



As president, Brown rocked the boat at the university, cutting millions of dollars and dozens of jobs from administration and re-allocating the money to instruction; yet he was popular with both faculty and students. He set fundraising records, boosted both admission standards and the number of admissions, and raised faculty salaries-not on the across-the-board basis many professors favored but on a market basis determined by the demand in different fields.



Bill Daniels died in March 2000, and the Daniels Fund is still receiving assets from his estate. When the transfer is complete, it will total nearly $1 billion, making the fund Colorado’s largest private foundation. In addition to its college prep program, it funds programs in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah in the areas of early childhood education, the elderly, homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, disabilities, and amateur athletics.



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