Don and Karen White have been active supporters of the college for decades, donating time and resources to foster the success of students, faculty and the college. Their support spans both the Denver and Anschutz Medical Campuses, and is making an impact that will continue for years to come.
Don is a Denver native who, after completing his active duty in the U.S. Navy, began working as a truck driver for a small electrical contractor in Denver. He took night classes at what was then the Denver Extension Center of the University of Colorado, and in 1965 he was one of the first graduates from the Department of Electrical Engineering. He went on to found Riviera Electric, one of the largest electrical contractors in Colorado. In his current role as chairman of the board at E Light Electric, Don continues to be an industry leader through the company’s emphasis on renewable energy sources.
Since 2002, the Whites have funded the semiannual Senior Design Competition and Open House event, where student teams showcase their senior design projects and present for a team of industry judges. In 2012, they provided funding for the college’s newly established electromagnetics lab, which is now the best-equipped educational high-frequency lab in the CU system. They also support the S. Gilbert Blount Endowed Chair in Cardiology at the CU School of Medicine.
In 2014, the Whites established the Don and Karen White Professorship in Electrical Engineering, the first-ever named professorship for the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Stephen Gedney, the newly appointed chair of the electrical engineering department, is the first recipient of the named professorship, which was created to facilitate high-level research and innovation and to recruit high-caliber faculty.
Many thanks from the students and members of the college community whose lives will forever be changed because of the Whites’ generosity.