J Madden who spoke on behalf of his dad and the Madden Family, Nanelle Wehmann, Cynthia Madden Leitner and Roger Leitner, honoree John Madden, Tom Dinwoodie and John’s son, Scott Madden
It was an evening of multiple celebrations – University of Denver (DU) is 155 years old, Dr. Rebecca Chopp has been the 18th Chancellor at DU for the past five years and the university’s highest honor was bestowed upon John W. Madden, Jr. and Anna and John J. Sie. Many previous honorees were in attendance to enjoy the spring theme of foliage backdrops, water features and entertainment from Lamont School of Music.
The honorees are inspirational – leaving legacies through bricks and mortar and vast unparalleled opportunities for students and other causes in the community. Not only are they givers but engaged partners. Through transformational and visionary leadership and philanthropy, they represent the university’s mission and values. All three have set the bar high through founding, generosity, support, making legacy commitments and have been frequently honored in numerous ways by other institutions.
The Sies became acquainted with Dan Ritchie in New York City. They are described as an amazing couple and an amazing family who have contributed to many causes including founding donors of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Known as “The father of digital television” John Sie is a lifetime emeritus board member of DU. They established the Anna and John Sie International Relations Complex at DU and honored their individual heritage on the campus as well with the Anna Maglione Sie Endowment in Italian Culture and the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. Showing her sense of humor and delight, Anna Sie turned to the audience for a quick display of the huge medal around her neck during the ceremony.
Bob and Judi Newman – 2016 honorees
Chopp called the pioneer commercial real estate developer, John Madden, a Renaissance Man. He became a patron of the arts at a very early age. “The road less traveled was the one most comfortable for my dad,” said J Madden who spoke on behalf of his dad and family. In a video, daughter Cynthia Madden Leitner talked about the Museum of Outdoor Arts that they founded together. Also, in the video renowned architect Curt Fentress described how Madden created spaces that transformed people starting with a piece of art around which Fentress designed.
The finale – John Madden with his larger-than-Olympic Founders Medal
John and his late wife Marjorie amassed a personal art collection housed in the Madden Museum of Art in Greenwood Village – the community where he made an indelible, award-winning mark. (His buildings and grounds are complemented with sculpture and art.) That art collection, a treasure in the community, has been donated to DU and he looks forward to being a partner with the university. To help art students at DU, he is funding “Madden Fellows” on scholarship to have closer access to the arts. He inspires the entrepreneurial spirit.
“Our students are paying attention and seeing possibilities and vision. Both the Sies and John Madden set their sights higher, deeper and brighter and help us see the good in the world,” said Chopp.
Donald Sturm – 2016 honoree (and wife Susan) attended with son Stephen
Schnitzer’s Doug Zabel and Dan Ivanoff
Honorees John J. Sie and wife Anna surround Chancellor Chopp
DU’s Interim Vice Chancellor of Marketing Lea Cadieux and Vice Chancellor of AdvancementArmin Afsahi
Board of Trustees Chair Denise O’Leary
Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie, Joy Burns and Ralph Nagel – all previous Founders honorees
John and Anna Sie with daughter Michelle Sie Whitten and husband Tom Whitten, grandchildren Sophia and Patrick Whitten
Presenting sponsors Doug and Mary Scrivner
Gold sponsors Rita and Navin Dimond
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