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Water Rights Gift to CC is ‘Forward Thinking’

An investment partnership comprised of five Colorado College alumni, the college's former business manager, and several friends of the college has donated the ground water rights beneath an 806.57 acre parcel of land to the school.

The partnership, led by Ian Griffis '85, includes David Birnbaum '83, John Chalik '67, Michael Millisor '83, William Griffis '78, David Lord, the college's former longtime business manager, and numerous friends of the college.

Located in Douglas and Elbert counties, approximately 14 miles southeast of Castle Rock, Colorado, the parcel contains 1,331 acre-feet per year of Denver Basin water rights. This amount is the equivalent of 434 million gallons of water per year.

"Water is one of our state's most precious resources," said CC President Jill Tiefenthaler. "This generous gift not only strengthens the college's financial well-being, but demonstrates how donors can make a significant impact at the college through giving of assets such as these."

"Water rights and the future of water are real issues in this part of the country," said Vice President for Advancement Sean Pieri, who helped organize the gift. "Getting a gift of this nature - enough water for essentially 4,200 homes for 100 years - is both forward thinking, and pertinent to the challenges we will inevitably face in the future."

CC plans to retain the water rights as a long-term asset. When sold, the rights could ultimately add several million dollars to the endowment portfolio. Funds from the sale will be used to establish a scholarship endowment.

Ian Griffis, chairman of Griffis Residential, a multi-family real estate investment company based in Denver, said "our goal was to donate an asset with strong appreciation potential to help build the resources the college will need in the long run to continue to provide a high-quality and accessible education." The innovative gift already is garnering media attention.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020