Fifty years after graduating from Colorado College, Robert Grant ’65 called his alma mater to make a significant commitment to the Otis A. and Margaret T. Barnes Chemistry Scholarship Fund. Otis Barnes, professor of chemistry, along with his wife Margaret Tyson Barnes ’27, established the scholarship.Grant was fulfilling a promise he made decades earlier as a Barnes Scholar at CC.

“I had hoped for many years to contribute to the Barnes Scholarship Fund. It was expressed in the original agreement I signed as a student that at some time in the future, if I could make a contribution, I should,” said Grant. “I wasn’t able to do so until retirement.”

Grant, who is married and has children and grandchildren, earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He spent the majority of his career in Pfizer’s medical device division leading biological research groups. Recently, he took another look at his estate plans.

“I spoke with a financial planning counselor with Covenant Trust Company, a service of the Evangelical Covenant Church. He recommended making charitable gifts from my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rather than from my trust,” said Grant. “I decided to reword my IRA Beneficiary Designation to include a gift to the Barnes Scholarship Fund.”

Timing coincides with first day of CC Scholarship Challenge 101
The timing of Grant’s decision, and of his call to the college on July 1, could not have proven better. July 1 happened to be the first day of the CC Scholarship Challenge 101, made possible by an anonymous donor who committed $10 million through estate plans to encourage members of the CC community to establish or enhance 100 scholarships — in addition to his own — either through an estate or an outright gift.

“It was purely a coincidence that I called the college on July 1, but it was great to learn that because of timing and the tremendous generosity of someone else my commitment will be multiplied by 150 percent,” said Grant, whose $200,000 designation will draw another $100,000 for scholarships through the challenge.

After donors make a commitment of $100,000 or more to endowed scholarships, the anonymous donor directs $100,000 to CC scholarships. To qualify for the challenge, gifts can benefit these types of CC scholarships: student financial need; academic merit — like the Barnes Chemistry Scholarship Fund; Division I athletics; or legacy scholarships, which are designated for children or grandchildren of CC alumni who attend the college. When it is successfully completed, the challenge will raise at least $20 million for scholarships.

CC Represents Opportunity
Colorado College was never on Grant’s radar when he was a student at Fairmont High School in Minnesota in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

“I had not considered CC and was not aware of the scholarship opportunity,” he recalls. “A guidance counselor thought of me and, knowing my financial need, told me about this great opportunity. I became the fourth recipient of the Barnes Scholarship in five years from my high school.”

For Amairani Alamillo ’16, this year’s Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon student speaker, Colorado College was among the top choices of schools she hoped to attend. The financial assistance CC provided was a deciding factor.

“I was able to attend Colorado College and not have to take out a lot of student loans,” said Alamillo, who has been the recipient of six scholarships during her time at the college.

She also has enjoyed meeting the people who have helped make her CC education possible.

“I have attended the Scholarship Luncheon every year I have been a student at CC,” she said. “It’s one of the events I look forward to the most. Each year, I told myself ‘I want to be that student up there’ — the one who speaks — because I wanted to express my appreciation to everyone who makes scholarships possible.”

Grant shares a similar appreciation. “I hope other recipients of Barnes scholarships also feel that Dr. and Mrs. Barnes’ gift to them made a difference in their lives,” said Grant. “By contributing to the Barnes Scholarship fund we can help perpetuate the same benefits for future students.”

For additional information about the CC Endowed Scholarships Challenge 101, contact Nancy Baxter ’78, director of gift planning, at (719) 389-6231 or