Couple empowers UCCS students

Kevin and Jamie KrattWith its array of retail and dining options, the University Village Colorado (UVC) is more than a good neighbor to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

It's a place where UCCS students are empowered to use their creativity and business skills, thanks to a scholarship program funded in part by Kevin and Jamie Kratt.

Kevin Kratt, president and founder of Kratt Commercial Properties, and Tom Cone, with Olive Real Estate Group, developed the UVC in 2009. Together, with Jamie Kratt, they are now creating opportunities for UCCS students in the community with the University Village Colorado's Sculpture Scholarship.

The Kratt's passion for UCCS has expanded over the years. They recently included UCCS in their estate plans and Kevin serves as a trustee for the University of Colorado Foundation.

"UCCS's commitment to community engagement is very strong," Kevin Kratt said. "The university understands that the health of the community is directly tied to the health of the campus."

The Kratts and Cone began a scholarship program for UCCS sculpture students in 2011. Two UCCS sculpture students per academic year are awarded the scholarship. Selected students spend the academic year conceptualizing, designing and building sculptures with the support of businesses, mentors, artists and contractors. The students gain real-world experience as they create budgets and solicit bids.

The goal is to provide students the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in public along North Nevada Avenue. Since the scholarship's inception, 16 students have put their sculptures on display at the UVC Art Walk. See the sculptures.

"We are only one example of the many ways the university reaches out to the community for mutual benefit," Kevin Kratt said.

Excerpts of this story were originally published in the 2017 Impact magazine — click here.