With a seven-figure legacy gift, Ken Boedeker honors a lifelong connection to Regis University

Ken Boedeker never had any doubt about where he would go to college. Growing up in Longmont, Colorado, he was a frequent visitor to Regis’ Northwest Denver Campus, where his uncle, Rev. John F. Lyons, S.J., taught.
“I can still remember Sunday dinners in the late ‘50s when he used to join us,” Boedeker said. “He would usually catch a bus and ride it to Longmont, where we lived. Most of the time, my dad would drive him back to campus, and I would go along for the ride.” That connection left no question that he would study at Regis – Boedeker said he never even applied to another college.
As his connection to the University has grown even stronger, his generosity is paving the way for new generations of students to benefit from a Regis education. Boedeker has provided nearly $200,000 to the University’s General Scholarship Fund, making financial support available to students in need.
Boedeker’s gifts have also benefited the Anderson College of Business and Computing’s Strategic Initiatives Fund, which supports a spectrum of faculty-led innovative projects and initiatives. One of those involves a partnership with an Erie, Colorado middle school that works to align technology with human and societal well-being. Another will elevate the profile of the Regis Center for Information Assurance Studies (CIAS) through a year-long cybersecurity awareness campaign.
Boedeker’s generosity doesn’t end there. He has included a seven-figure legacy gift to Regis in his estate plans.
It was another Regis-connected relative who started the young Boedeker on the career path that brought him decades of success and fulfillment and forged his strong ties to Regis. “I have fond memories of John Donahue,” he said. “He was an instructor and a cousin of my folks. I was planning on becoming a history major with a minor in education. But he talked me into becoming a math major with a minor in education.”
At that time – the late 1960s – choosing the right major was hardly the only thing occupying a young man’s mind. The United States was mired in the Vietnam War, and while college enrollment kept them from being drafted, young men were well aware that protection was only temporary. “It was certainly a stressful time for young men in their 20s,” Boedeker said.
Indeed, when Boedeker graduated in 1970, he had a contract to teach in Vancouver, Washington, but Uncle Sam had other plans. While he expected his math skills would direct his Army career, he was assigned to work in personnel.
Ultimately though, the Army delayed but didn’t derail the career in technology that Boedeker had begun to yearn for. Soon after he left active duty, he became a programmer trainee for the state of Colorado – a job that opened the door to the technology field, and led to two decades at Mountain Bell, which was headquartered in Denver. That, Boedeker said, “was a wonderful time for me. They were so far ahead of the rest of the industry, and I was along for the ride.”
That ride began to get bumpy in the 1980s when AT&T was ordered to break up its phone company monopoly. By 2000, Mountain Bell had become US West and was in the process of becoming Qwest. Boedeker was ready to retire.
Needing “some sense of worth and direction in my life,” he turned, again, to Regis, and to his Catholic faith. “I am a great fan of Jesuit education,” he said. “I haven’t found another school that prepares you for what you will find in the real world of the 2020s any better than what I experienced at Regis.”
Boedeker said he is proud that he can help other students prepare for their own careers and is especially pleased that he can do it at a University where the Jesuit mission of service to others aligns with his own deep Catholic faith. 
“My hope is that some other alumni will step forward with their own resources and provide for Regis’ future,” he said. “I also hope that current students will have an appreciation for the folks who went before them…I feel certain that they, too, will look rather fondly at their time at Regis University and will mention it proudly when asked, where did you go to school?’” Undoubtedly, his uncle, too, would be proud.
– Salvador Aceves, President


Ken Boedeker with his good friend, Fr. Jim Schellenberg, and Justin Zuiker, Assistant Vice President of University Advancement