Heritage Society welcomes 140 new members at annual luncheon

Two couples, and the surgeon who performed a life-saving transplant that united them, received a hero’s welcome at the annual University of Colorado Heritage Society Luncheon at the Denver Country Club on June 1.

Teri and Charlie Trafton and Char and Lee Snyder, as well as Peter Kennealey, MD, were given standing ovations for their compelling story of generosity, sacrifice and friendship. Watch the video >>

In 2017, Teri Trafton donated a healthy kidney to Char Snyder, who was suffering from end-stage renal disease; the transplant saved her life. The two couples had met through Colorado Buffs football and were seated next to each other in Section 569 for years.

Vice President for Advancement Johnnie Ray said that while the day’s honored guests were brought together by CU, this same sense of community also united the members of the CU Heritage Society.

“Even though we come from different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, we are not here by happenstance,” Ray told the audience. “We are seated here today, together, united in a shared vision of what the University of Colorado can do in the world.”

The Traftons and Snyders are donors to CU and Heritage Society members. Months after the successful transplant, the Snyders established the Trafton-Snyder Endowed Fund in Kidney Transplantation.

CU President Bruce Benson, as well as representatives from CU leadership, also attended the event. Now in his 10th year as president, Benson told the crowd that the culture of CU is the result of respect and collaboration. He also gave updates on the university’s reputation, record enrollment numbers, and recent campus initiatives to address the issues of mental health and cybersecurity.   

The University of Colorado Heritage Society honors those who have made a gift to support the University of Colorado through their estate plans. The Heritage Society has more than 1,200 members, with 140 new members inducted this year.

Nearly $160 million has come to CU through estate gifts over the years. Planned gifts help strengthen CU’s academic programs, attract world-class faculty, fuel innovative research, advance healthcare, and support CU students on every campus in every discipline.

For more information about making a planned gift to support CU, call 303-541-1229 or visit cu.planmygift.org.

2018 Heritage Society Luncheon Photos