On Thursday, Oct. 4, alumnus Dennis Repp received the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award – the highest honor given by Colorado State University’s Alumni Association.
This recognition comes at a time when the Lory Student Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The LSC 50th is a time to commemorate history, recognize excellence, and celebrate the future. Individuals like Repp have the power to bring attention to all three of these aims at once.
The award is characterized by extraordinary distinction and success in an individual’s field, leadership and service to an individual’s community and society at large, and achievements that have brought credit to Colorado State University and benefit to his/her fellow citizens.
Repp has embodied the criteria of this award in many ways, first as a student who graduated as a Pacemaker in 1960 and later through his professional and philanthropic work.
As a student, Repp was highly-involved, serving as secretary and first vice president of Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU), treasurer of Interfraternity Council, and a member of seven separate honorary societies. He was also a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet and an International Farm Youth Exchange Delegate. He firmly believes his student involvement prepared him for future success.
“This education coupled with the leadership expertise gained from participation in activities has given me an advantage over fellow workers,” said Repp. “I am very proud of the superior training and career preparation that I received, and I recognize and appreciate this even more as time passes.”
He also had the opportunity to serve on President William Morgan’s Student Advisory Board. As a member of the board, Repp was one of the key student voices involved in the development of CSU as it is today. Without the forward-thinking and valuable input invested by students like Repp, the campus would not have decided to build the Lory Student Center.
It was Repp’s participation in this advisory board along with his leadership on campus that resulted in his inclusion in the 1960 photo of the Lory Student Center ground-breaking. As one of the “LSC 7,” Repp and six other student leaders posed in the photo symbolizing the beginning of the Lory Student Center legacy, which is intrinsically linked to that of the greater University.
Similarly, Repp’s longstanding commitment to education mirrors that of Colorado State University’s land grant mission to provide access to higher education. Repp helped found a charter school system in an impoverished area of Los Angeles, California. Since its inception, it has grown to five campuses, serves 3,000 K-12 students, and produces some of the highest test scores in the city. In conjunction with this, Repp provides four-year college scholarships to the top five graduates in the system. These students have gone on to attend prestigious universities like MIT, UCLA, and Duke.
Outstanding alumni are produced daily at CSU partly because of opportunities offered by the Lory Student Center. The office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) coordinates campus-wide service activities for students; this year, CSU students contributed more than 220,000 volunteer hours. In addition, SLiCE offers extensive leadership development opportunities ranging from retreats to academic courses. Students participated in more than 40,000 hours of leadership training through SLiCE programs.
Furthermore, SLiCE provides grants up to $2,000 for students who wish to put their passion into action. Students commit two to four semesters of their time to help implement a unique service or social change project, participate in leadership training and meet regularly with an adviser. Previous projects have included RamCycle, a safe bicycling education program for first-year CSU students, and T.G.I.F (Thank Golly its Friday!) for special-needs teens. These are just a few of the opportunities available through the Lory Student Center.
“The Lory Student Center is more than just a building,” said Director of Lory Student Center Relations Alexis Kanda-Olmstead. “We are creating citizen-leaders who are going to change the world.”
Thus, it is fitting that both Dennis Repp and the Lory Student Center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, are recognized together during Homecoming and Family Weekend. For the past five decades, both Repp and the Lory Student Center have transformed their respective communities. The Rams on campus today have access to more resources than ever before to start positively impacting their present and future communities. The last 50 years were just the beginning.