Changing lives, one student at a time

It all started with Harry and Eva Puksta, who built a successful South Denver construction business. They valued honesty and hard work from the time they were married, just after Harry got back from World War II, until they both died within days of each other in 1999. When planning their estate, Harry and Eva wanted to help "the good kids of Colorado, so they could be afforded the chance to go to college." Although they had no heirs, the foundation they established with financial planner John Mulstay has helped more than 200 students go to college. In the process, students work to transform their communities.

In 2014, the CU Denver Department of Communication and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) became the fifth Colorado school to partner with the Puksta Foundation to help CU Denver students give back to their communities while receiving a scholarship to help with tuition. Expanded in 2015 to include the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Puksta Foundation and CLAS now sponsor $2,000 scholarships for ten Puksta Scholars a year. Our Puksta Scholars work on community projects of their choosing while completing complementary academic and leadership training. Our innovative partnership works to improve lives and communities by training civic leaders for the twenty-first century. Together with John and NiChel Mulstay, who keep Harry and Eva's dream alive, we seek to empower a new generation of young scholars and activists committed to building more equitable and humane modes of democratic life. We think Harry and Eva would be proud!

Scholars 2017-18   Alumni