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College of Business receives $40,000 in scholarship funds

Community ally Aegon Transamerica Foundation transforms lives at MSU Denver by doubling scholarship funds.

By Lynne Winter ‘17

The Aegon Transamerica Foundation recognizes the value of investing in the future of a workforce-ready, university-educated population. Their philanthropic spirit is giving students who might have otherwise been unable to attend college the opportunity to achieve the American dream of earning a degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

“To immigrants like myself, the thought of receiving a college education is unimaginable,” says Jhovani Becerra, a management major at MSU Denver.

A leading provider of life insurance, savings, investment and retirement solutions committed to improving the wellness of communities, Transamerica worked with the MSU Denver College of Business in 2017 to establish the Transamerica Scholarship. The scholarship assists full-time students who have financial need and are committed to pursuing a degree in a business related field – economics, accounting, marketing or another financial services discipline.

“We are deeply grateful that Transamerica chose to create a scholarship at MSU Denver,” says Dr. Anne Murphy, dean of MSU Denver’s College of Business. “Together, we are preparing tomorrow’s workforce for success.”

For students like Becerra, the scholarship offers rewards that extend far beyond obtaining a degree. “As a first-generation college student, receiving the Transamerica Scholarship has helped me break intergenerational educational barriers,” he says. “My niece and nephew see my achievements and believe that if I can do it, they can too.”  

The Transamerica Scholarship – initially funded at $20,000 – supported eight students during the 2017-18 academic year. The scholarship will continue to benefit eight students and Transamerica has generously increased the scholarship funds to $40,000 for the upcoming school year. In addition to financial aid, they will host an open house for scholarship recipients at the Transamerica offices in downtown Denver this fall.

Transamerica wants to help people live well today and worry less about tomorrow. They are living up to their word by doing precisely that for the students of MSU Denver.

“This scholarship has provided me with the chance to focus my time on my education and serving my community,” says Becerra. “I am astounded that I have come this far in realizing my dreams.”

“It only possible because of scholarships from donors like Transamerica.”

For more information about how you can support College of Business scholarships, contact Allyssa Joseph, associate director of development, at 303-615-2045 or

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Colorado Rockies 50/50 Raffle volunteers raise over $33,000 and counting

Take me out to the ballgame!

By Lynne Winter '17 

Since April, the MSU Denver Alumni Association has been participating in a unique fundraising endeavor that directly impacts scholarships, athletics and student programming at the University. The 2018 Colorado Rockies baseball season has seen students, coaches, faculty, staff, and friends of the University assisting with the 50/50 Raffle at all Coors Field home games.

The 50/50 Raffle provides an opportunity to raise money that will bridge the gap between yearly program budgets and the needs those funds do not cover. Volunteers sell raffle tickets to baseball fans through the 7th inning and, in turn, earn a minimum of $75 that they can designate to the MSU Denver department or program of their choice. During the first three months of baseball season, more than 400 volunteers have raised over $33,000.

The MSU Denver baseball team is one of the groups participating in fundraising efforts, having earned nearly $4,000 to supplement their equipment and travel budget.

“The baseball program is not fully funded each year and taking care of 35 players isn’t cheap,” says Ryan Strain, head coach, MSU Denver Baseball. “It is necessary for us to fundraise to ensure our players have quality equipment and are taken care of when we travel.”

Not only have players been able to raise a significant amount of money, but they are having fun doing it. “Most of our guys are Rockies fans – they have really enjoyed being in the stadium,” Strain says. “All of the money we have raised will go towards giving our players at MSU Denver the best possible experience.”

The 2018 Colorado Rockies season runs through the end of Sept., so there is still plenty of time for volunteers to raise funds for their favorite MSU Denver department or program. Those who miss out this season will have the chance to participate next year when the MSU Denver 50/50 Raffle starts up again in April 2019.

For more information about the 50/50 Raffle, contact Brandi Rideout, director of Alumni Relations, at

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$140,000 memorial endowment transforms lives at MSU Denver, Adams City High School

By Lynne Winter ’17

Michael Bentley loved teaching science. For more than 20 years, he taught at Adams City Middle and Adams City High School — sharing his knowledge and curiosity with students and encouraging them to consider a career in teaching — before his cancer diagnosis forced him into retirement in 2013.

“He loved teaching, science and his students. He wanted to complete one more year, but his treatment became too much,” says Peggy Moody, Bentley’s widow. “He was sad to leave and wished there was more he could do.”

One day, Bentley wore a thoughtful look, prompting his wife to ask what was on his mind. He proposed a solution for supporting his students — put half of the money they had been saving to live in Panama after retirement towards a scholarship for students from Adams City High School. Bentley knew that transitioning from high school to college was difficult and he wanted to ensure they had the tools to succeed during their first year.

“We never really discussed it again,” Moody says. “After he died, I knew I had to follow through.”

After a year of research, Moody collaborated with MSU Denver to create the endowed scholarship that would honor Bentley’s legacy. The Michael A. Bentley Memorial Endowed Scholarship is open to students who have graduated from Adams City High School and will be attending MSU Denver with the goal of obtaining a Colorado certification to teach science, technology and math — STEM.

Bentley and Moody’s gift (which turned out to be the entire Panama fund), combined with a matching gift from HLC@Metro, Inc., for a total of $140,000, is one of the largest in the MSU Denver School of Education’s history.

“When we choose to invest in communities — as Peggy and Michael have — we see a positive impact on future generations of students,” says Allyssa Joseph, associate director of major gifts at MSU Denver. “This scholarship is larger than life and indicative of the passion that teachers have to see their students succeed.”

“I am excited and amazed,” Moody says. “The scholarship will help students from Adams City High School for years to come.”

“It seems like a dream — I am sure that Michael is ecstatic.”

To learn more about how you can support the Michael A. Bentley Endowed Memorial Scholarship, contact Allyssa Joseph, associate director of development, at

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