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“It would be unconscionable not to.”

A reflection on giving in the words of Doug Looney (’63)

Doug Looney

I was born and raised in Boulder and started going to University of Colorado Boulder sporting events when I was three. Seldom was I outside Boulder’s city limits. So it was never discussed around our house where I’d go to college—Boulder, by default, of course. Against this backdrop, on a windy, cold, snowy, gray morning a few months before my graduation from Boulder High, I approached my dad. “I’ve been thinking about where I want to go to college,” I said cheerfully. He stared at me silently. I proceeded. “I think the schools that best meet my academic interests and strengths are the University of Florida and the University of Hawaii.” There was silence. Then he spoke, apparently unpersuaded: “You’re going to CU. Anything else you want to discuss?”

Thank heavens for his response. Gosh, to think I could have ended up somewhere other than CU. That would have been a disastrously wrong choice at this fork in the road when I was 17. Chilling.

The reasons why Mary Ann (‘63) and I give to CU are many. Above all, it would be unconscionable for us not to. All this place ever did for me was give me a spouse (Mary Ann and I met in a freshman English class), a commission as an Army officer (I was in ROTC), a university degree (journalism) and make possible an incredibly rewarding career (I spent the bulk of my working days as a writer at Sports Illustrated). To sum up, we received wonderful educations—Mary Ann got her degree in elementary education— and we met a bunch of folks who became lifelong friends.

We’d have to be total ingrates not to want to give a few dollars to a place that gave us, in a word, everything. We’ll never get this debt repaid.


The Looney’s Charitable Remainder Trust was established in 1995. During Doug and Mary Ann’s lifetime, the trust pays them an income. When the trust ends, any remaining balance will support the Douglas S. and Mary Ann Looney Basketball Endowment Fund at CU Boulder, which supports student-athletes on the CU basketball team.