History

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The Barton Institute is the first of its kind in Colorado.

In 2016, the University of Denver (DU) and David Miller established an Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise. The Institute sought to address major social issues and improve society by promoting and enhancing traditional and new forms of philanthropy, social enterprise and partnerships among private, public, nonprofit and academic sectors.

When Miller first envisioned an institute at DU dedicated to serving the region's most vulnerable people, he sought advice from his friends and colleagues, Laura & the late Peter Barton. Laura and Peter Barton met David Miller in 1988, when Laura and Miller both worked for Federico Peña, former Denver mayor and current University of Denver trustee. When Miller was president and CEO of the Denver Foundation, Peter Barton joined the foundation's board of trustees. Miller worked closely with the Bartons to help shape their philanthropic plan and they developed a mutual appreciation of each other's perspectives on how to create philanthropy with deep and lasting impact.

In November, 2016, the Barton Family made a transformational gift of $10 million to name the institute: the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise. This transformative gift, made to honor the late Peter Barton, provided seed capital and long-term funding to support the institute's mission.

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"The Barton Family has meant so much to The University of Denver. They have meant so much to the city of Denver. This [gift] helps us expand our relationship to community, especially those in need."
                                                                          -Chancellor Rebecca Chopp

The Barton Institute, a free-standing entity, is the first of its kind in Colorado and is not a part of any school, department or college at DU. Thus, it has the freedom to explore and leverage resources across DU to bring the strongest interdisciplinary approach to issues facing the Rocky Mountain West region.

The institute will use the infrastructure and vast student, faculty and staff talent of the University of Denver to form an interdisciplinary approach that advances many initiatives of the University's strategic vision, DU Impact 2025.