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University of Wyoming Hosts Event Highlighting Legacy of Business Leader and Philanthropist, Bill Daniels

June 17, 2010

The University of Wyoming College of Business is hosting an event today (Thursday) highlighting the legacy of Bill Daniels, a business leader and philanthropist, who died in March 2000.

Daniels, a decorated naval aviator in World War II and cable television pioneer, owned an insurance agency in Casper where he later launched his first cable television system. Upon his death, his estate transferred to the Daniels Fund, which provides grants and scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

"The Daniels Fund, through its contributions to various causes, has touched the lives of Wyoming citizens in all 23 counties," UW President Tom Buchanan says. At the University of Wyoming, the combined generosity of a $3 million gift from the Daniels Fund matched by the state of Wyoming has resulted in a permanently endowed ethics program at UW, Buchanan says.

The 10th anniversary of the Daniels Fund will be celebrated at the eight partnering universities in the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, an innovative program designed to instill a high standard of business ethics in graduates. The University of Wyoming will be linked to the other celebration sites through a video simulcast.

"We are honored to be a part of this 10th anniversary tribute to Bill Daniels' legacy," Brent Hathaway, dean of the College of Business, says. "The relationship we have with the Daniels Fund is as important as any we have on campus. Furthermore, the organization's reach goes well beyond the university's borders. Wyoming's youth, elderly, disabled, disadvantaged, and homeless have all benefited from the generosity of the Daniels Fund."

"Bill Daniels began life in humble circumstances, but achieved greatness by staying true to the values he learned as a young man: honesty, integrity, and the importance of hard work and always playing fair," explains Linda Childears, Daniels Fund president and CEO. "His legacy has touched countless lives in its first 10 years, and will continue to do so as long as there are people in need," she adds.

The celebration will take place in Room 310 in the Classroom Building at the University of Wyoming. Special guests will include nonprofit and community leaders who will be joined by recipients of the Daniels Scholarship. Jim Nicholson, former secretary of Veteran's Affairs and Daniels Fund board member, will emcee the event.

A total of 182 Wyoming students have been named Daniels Scholars since the program was launched. This supplemental scholarship provides students in financial need with the opportunity to attend any college or university in the United States once they are accepted. The majority attend the University of Wyoming.

"These are promising and motivated students determined to succeed in life, but lacking the financial resources to continue their education," explains Childears. "They are outstanding young people and the Daniels Fund is proud to partner with them as they fulfill their dreams of attending college," she says.

In addition, the Daniels Fund has awarded $500,000 in funding for Daniels Opportunity Scholarships for Wyoming students. This program provides non-traditional students such as adults returning to college, returning military personnel, GED recipients, foster care youths and those exiting juvenile justice facilities with the opportunity to attend college.

Since its inception, the Daniels Fund has approved grants totaling $22 million in Wyoming. In 2010, a projected $3.3 million in grants will be awarded in the state. This is in addition to the funding for the Daniels Scholarship and the Daniels Opportunity Scholarship programs.

Among the many nonprofits receiving grants are: the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming; Central Wyoming Counseling Center; Central Wyoming Hospice Program; Central Wyoming Senior Services; Child Development Center of Natrona County; the Davis Hospice Center; Mount Carmel Youth Ranch; Teton Science School; Young at Heart Seniors Center; and many others.

The public is invited to view the live webcast of the 10th Anniversary Celebration via a link on the Daniels Fund Web site:

University of Wyoming Media Contact:
Jessica Lowell (307) 766-2929

Daniels Fund Media Contact: 
Peter J. Droege (303) 519-9533 (cell)

Contact information for leaders of local nonprofits that have received grants from the Daniels Fund is available from Droege.

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