Events Calendar

March 7, 2013

Iliff Courage Celebration Concert

See Iliff’s new video that debuted at the Courage Celebration on March 7.
View Iliff Courage video.

Description: It takes courage to make a difference! This year’s Iliff School of Theology Courage Award Celebration honored Lee Everding, volunteer, philanthropist, clinical social worker, founder and director of Denver Eclectics, co-founder of the Abrahamic Initiative, and former chief executive officer, Communicom, Inc.; R.J. Ross, one of the founders and recently retired president of The Samaritan Institute; and “Building Bridges,” (formerly Seeking Common Ground) a Denver based non-profit organization addressing the root causes of hatred, discrimination, and violent conflict by connecting young adults face to face to those they have been taught to fear and mistrust; with a concert and awards presentation. Courage Invitation

The evening’s program featured a concert led by Denise Gentilini and her “We Are Voices Project” featuring noted singers, Beth Avedis, Hazel Miller, Lisa Nemzo, Mary Louise Lee, Mindy Sterling, CoCo Brown, Shiva Maxey, William Skip Lynch, Sam Nichols, Carl Carwell, Sheryl Renee, Jon Sterling, Frank Selman, Ron Bland, Ed Contreras, Dr. Vicki Burrichter, and the SOAR! Youth and Adult Choir.

A VIP reception at Iliff preceded the concert at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Proceeds benefited Iliff’s Diversities and Scholarship Programs.

Thank you to our event co-sponsors including: $10,000 Vision – Anonymous, Susan Duncan Schlessman, Kim Patmore. $5,000 Courage – Rhondda and Peter Grant, George and Mary Sissel. $3,000 Hope – Katherine Borgen, Donna Bates Bouicher, The Phyllis M Coors Foundation, Ernst & Young, Wills and Pat Long, Jim and Scotty Wilkins. $1,500 Strength – Greg and Jenny Baldwin, Deloitte, Dr. Frederick Grover, Janet Manning, Merrill Lynch, William (Bill) Schilling, Vision Graphics, Inc./Eagle:xm

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013
VIP Reception: 5:30-6:30 p.m. (VIP Reception tickets are available only through Iliff)
Concert and Awards Presentation: 7:00-8:30 p.m.


“Lee Everding, R.J. Ross and Building Bridges have made remarkable contributions to our world – exemplifying the fortitude and courage to make life better for all people,” said Albert Hernández, interim president, chief executive officer, and associate professor of the history of Christianity. “We are honored to present them the 2013 Iliff Courage Awards and to celebrate them with a concert by the ‘We are Voices Project’ led by local Emmy Award-winning songwriter Denise Gentilini.”

Lee Everding is receiving the Courage Award for her life-long passion of providing educational venues for thousands of people through her commitment to many learning ventures promoting tolerance, peace, and justice. She is active in numerous organizations, serves on several boards, and has received the prestigious Daniel R. Ritchie Award from the Colorado Ethics Business Alliance.

“As the founder of Denver Eclectics, a local women’s group dedicated to learning about tough issues facing our world, Everding has grown the group to more than 500 members,“ added Hernández. “ Her commitment to educating the community is demonstrated not only through this activity, but by the many others she supports and advises.”

R.J. Ross is being honored for his life-giving work in establishing The Samaritan Institute, a nationwide system of counseling centers that offers clients low-cost mental health services emphasizing the unity of mind, body, and spirit.

“As one of the largest providers of professional counseling in America, Ross, one of the original founders of the Institute, has provided programs that have responded to the needs of congregations and communities since 1972,” commented Hernández. “His life’s work has helped thousands across the United States and abroad find sorely needed mental health services at little or no cost.”

Iliff honors Building Bridges (formerly Seeking Common Ground) for its largest program which brings American, Israeli, and Palestinian teen women together to develop personal relationships based on empathy and respect. Participants learn to see the humanity in those they thought were different from themselves, and they acquire the communication and leadership skills necessary to work towards more just, inclusive societies. For nearly 20 years, Building Bridges have been effective in creating social change agents in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, South Africa and the United States.

Location: University of Denver, The Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Ave., Denver, 80210

Info/Contact: Institutional Advancement, Lisa Switzer, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 303-765-3171. Concert tickets can be purchased directly from The Newman Center ticket office: VIP Tickets (purchased only through Iliff. $95 per person/$180 per couple (includes VIP reception prior to concert and concert ticket); Concert Tickets: $45 per person/$80 per couple; Student Tickets: $20 (with valid student ID)