Susan White Burgamy ’66 First to Establish Colorado Pledge Scholarship
When she travels south from her home in Denver, Susan White Burgamy ’66 experiences an emotional connection as Pikes Peak comes into view.
“My student years at CC were a wonderful time for me,” she says. “Every time I come back to campus, I feel that same openness of opportunity that I had.”
Burgamy equates that opportunity for a holistic liberal arts education and key lifelong relationships to her Colorado College experience — and to her parents, Aaron “Ron” and Jane Elizabeth “Betty” Morris White, who made it possible for her and her sister, Patricia White Weed ’69, M.A.T. ’91, to attend the college.
She recently established the Susan White Burgamy ’66 Endowed Scholarship, which honors her parents and is designed to provide students from middle-income Colorado families access to a CC education like she and her sister have benefited from throughout their lives.
Her scholarship is the first commitment toward the Colorado Pledge, a new initiative aimed at making CC as affordable for students from Colorado as the state’s flagship public institution. The college is seeking $20 million to enact the pledge from donors like Burgamy who want to support in-state students.
The pledge resonated with her as she was able to come to CC with support from a scholarship. She grew up in Sterling, Colorado, in the northeast region of the state, where her parents owned and operated Western Aviation Inc., based at the municipal airport. Burgamy’s parents were supportive of all three of their children and encouraged them to pursue college education even though that meant stretching the family financially.
“Attending a school out of state was not an option,” she says. “My parents found out about CC and knew it was a special place with strong academics.”
During her first visit to campus, Burgamy met with Dick Wood, then CC’s director of admission, who offered her a partial scholarship and loan to help with tuition, room, and board. With significant financial support from her parents, she became one of three students from the top five in her high school class to enroll.
“My parents were so pleased when I was admitted to Colorado College,” she says. “When I was struggling academically my first year, my dad wrote me a letter that said, ‘We have all the faith in the world in you and feel that all you need is a little more time to shift into high gear. Keep your chin up, kid, your cheering section is behind you 100 percent no matter what happens.’”
At CC, Burgamy met students from all over the country, became president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and took full advantage of the liberal arts offerings by immersing herself in a variety of courses. She earned her bachelor’s in zoology, cum laude, and went on to complete an M.A. in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado.
She credits her CC education for equipping her with skills she has drawn from throughout her adult life. In addition to a short teaching career and raising a family, Burgamy has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the Denver area, several with a focus on animal welfare. She worked with Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver to envision and create Dusty’s Garden, a quiet place for people who are dealing with the loss of a cherished pet.
At CC, she has played a leading role by serving on the Alumni Association Council and chairing the Nominations and Awards Committee.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to establish this scholarship,” says Burgamy. “It’s a very meaningful way to honor my parents and to help other Colorado students to have this experience.”
Currently, about 15 percent of CC students are from Colorado. Reaching the $20 million threshold that the pledge requires means the college can admit 25 Colorado students per year for the next four years, resulting in an additional 100 students from the state.
“We are very grateful to Susan for providing the first gift for the Colorado Pledge,” says Mark Hille, vice president for advancement. “Getting qualified in-state students and their families to consider CC — both as the only institution of its kind in Colorado, and also as a viable and affordable option — is the ultimate goal of the pledge. The Susan White Burgamy ’66 Endowed Scholarship is a fitting tribute to Susan’s parents that will extend their legacy to countless future Colorado College students.”