Philanthropist wants to feel the joy of supporting CU faculty and students now
Even though Becky Roser may not live in Boulder anymore, her heart remains with CU.
In 2017, Becky contributed her Boulder property to CU and retained the right to live in the home for her lifetime. This meant that the sale of her home west of the CU Boulder campus would one day benefit the causes she cared about most.
Then, Becky got to thinking how she wanted to see the impact of her gift now, during her lifetime.
So, in 2018, she relinquished her life interest in her University Hill neighborhood home, and Becky and her partner, Ron Stewart, moved a few miles away to Lafayette, Colorado. The proceeds from the home sale are now supporting the CU Boulder College of Music's piano and keyboard program, an endowed scholarship for undergraduates in music, and a musicology support fund, as well as the CU Cancer Center at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.
The decision to sell felt logical, and Becky couldn't be happier.
"It just made sense to do it, and I know Ron appreciates the decision I made," she says. "This is something I just have joy about. I love spending time at the College of Music. The faculty are so talented and the quality of the students is superb. It makes me happy to know they are benefiting now."
Born and raised in Denver, Becky grew up in a lower middle class family where music was important. When she was 5, her parents spent $75—quite a stretch for a carpenter and homemaker—on a used piano. She loved learning piano growing up but stopped as a teenager when she traded in piano lessons for skiing.
Her late husband, Jim, also understood the joy of playing music, and the pangs of putting it aside. As a high schooler, Jim had played trumpet, but in college he chose to study economics instead of music. After a successful career on Wall Street, he moved to Boulder in the 1970s where he was one of the pioneers of the city's venture capital world.
"In the late '80s, when we got together, we both had this love, this passion for music. Classical, jazz, just about anything," Becky says.
The Rosers were longtime philanthropists to CU. That legacy of generosity continues with Becky and Ron, who called the gift planning process "a creative collaboration" with the College of Music Advancement and Gift Planning teams.
"It's a matter of being aware of your own resources and thinking outside of the box. It was knowing that we had the ability to do something and we had the passion to do it," she says.