Oct 062011
Authors: Jason Pohl

If you’ve noticed renovations to Hughes Stadium, Rockwell Hall or the University Center for the Arts, you can thank Pat Stryker, one of CSU’s most generous supporters.

Stryker, who was recently named by Forbes magazine as one of the wealthiest and most liberal billionaires in America, has contributed more than $30 million to the university over the years.

The 55-year-old philanthropist was ranked No. 331 on the annual 400-person list of billionaires with her net-wealth of $1.3 billion through her family’s extensive stake in the medical technology field.

On top of funding many important buildings across campus, her gifts have been used to create additional scholarships for students.

“Pat’s generosity has transformed campus facilities and enhanced academics across a broad range of CSU programs that have greatly improved the educational and cultural experience for CSU students,” said Brett Anderson, the vice president for university advancement.

Anderson has worked with Stryker and her contributions over time, which he said “have produced positive benefits for students, the campus community and the larger Fort Collins community.”

In addition to her outstanding charity to the university community, Stryker has been actively involved in the Fort Collins and Northern Colorado arts. In 2001. she founded the Bohemian Foundation in 2001 –– a group that places an emphasis on bettering the world through the arts and music –– which has been one of her goals all along.

Stryker was unavailable for comment at the time of publication, but individuals close to her emphasized her compassion and efforts to give back to the community.

Pat “deftly recognizes and supports the role of music and the arts in community revitalization,” said Cheryl Zimlich, a board member with the Bohemian Foundation and long-time friend of Stryker.

“Pat proudly embraces this city as her hometown and puts her philanthropy where her heart is.”

Among other things, the Bohemian Foundation organizes the annual and free Bohemian Nights at New West Fest each August, which features dozens of local bands and internationally recognized headliner acts.

“Music has become a great catalyst in her life,” said Michael Mockler, a friend of nearly two decades and publisher of Scene magazine –– a Fort Collins music and arts publication. “She just wants to give it back.”

Stryker has been active in the political arena by contributing millions to political campaigns concerned over responsible social ideals and a progressive future.

Politics aside, her impact in the community remains within the arts and giving back, according to those close to her.

“She is just quite a humble person,” Mockler said. “She feels it is her responsibility. She is just a great, generous (and) humble being with all the right ideas.”

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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