CU Foundation head Wayne Hutchens to retire

Fundraising arm has had record donation years under his leadership
By Brittany Anas Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 08/04/2011 08:46:03 PM MDT

Wayne Hutchens, chief executive officer of the University of Colorado Foundation during record-setting fundraising years, announced he will be retiring after nearly six years on the job.

Hutchens’ announcement comes as CU moves forward with the public phase of its largest-ever fundraising campaign, which aims to raise $1.5 billion. The university unveiled the “Creating Futures” campaign last spring.

CU system spokesman Ken McConnellogue said Hutchens will step down between January and July. University leaders and foundation board members will collaborate in selecting a new leader for the private fundraising arm, McConnellogue said.

Since Hutchens began the job in 2006, the university has brought in about $984 million in private support, including more than $500 million by the CU Foundation. CU announced last month that the university hit an all-time high fundraising year by bringing in more than $203 million.

Ed Osborne, a member of the CU Foundation board of directors, said despite the down economy, donations under Hutchens’ leadership have been hitting high marks for the past five years.

Osborne said Hutchens has a strong business sense and passion for the university — but also has a way with people, is genuine when he thanks donors and has built CU’s credibility.

As the university and the board search for the next foundation leader, Osborne said they’ll be once again looking for somebody with a well-known reputation in Colorado.

“We’re not going to clone Wayne,” he said. “But we’ll want some of his same attributes — his integrity and the way he works with people is key.”

Before Hutchens’ appointment to the CU Foundation, he had a 29-year career in the banking industry, most recently as chairman of Chase Bank Colorado.

“It has been my pleasure to work with Hank Brown and now Bruce Benson during their respective presidencies, as well as with our wonderful campus leadership,” Hutchens said in a statement. “The University of Colorado is an outstanding institution of which we can all be proud.”

Hutchens came on board with the foundation after a state audit in November 2005 criticized the fundraising arm and financial management at the school. Former President Elizabeth Hoffman asked for in-depth audits of the school and foundation after allegations of improper spending and slush funds.

Under Hutchens’ leadership, the university and foundation implemented the state auditor’s recommendations.

Benson said that under Hutchens’ guidance, the CU Foundation has inspired unprecedented levels of confidence from donors and alumni.

“Wayne Hutchens’ passion for CU, professionalism and personal integrity have been woven into the fabric of the CU Foundation, helping us to set fundraising records over the past several years,” Benson said in a statement. “He has built an organization that will allow CU and the CU Foundation to continue our success.”

Hutchens has long been active in community service and has chaired the board of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Colorado Council for Economic Education and the Colorado Outward Bound School.

He has scaled all 54 fourteeners in Colorado and numerous other peaks around the world, including Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Russia.

He received an undergraduate business degree from CU in 1967.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or