David and Shirley Ames


"Philanthropy is supporting one's passion. You must find what's important in life and follow through with it," says Dr. David Ames and Shirley Ames. Together, David and Shirley contribute to the Colorado State campus community in many ways in support of one of their greatest passions – education.

David earned his B.S. degree and M.S. degree in 1964 and 1966. He continued his education at Michigan State University, where he received a dual degree in animal sciences and physiology in 1969. David worked with livestock his whole life. His father was a stockman and he was very involved with 4H, so "choosing this degree was automatic," David says. In 1982 David was the department head of Animal Sciences at Colorado State. "My work from 1982 to 1999 was an era of growth and activity within this department," David adds. During his term, the Department of Animal Sciences received over 4 million dollars in gifts including the Monfort Scholarship. David was also the athletic director for a year in 1993. "We had some great athletes during my time as athletic director such as Amy Van Dyken and Becky Hammond. CSU also went to the final four in its basketball and football seasons."

Shirley Ames went to school at the University of Northern Colorado Greely where she studied music and elementary education. She is a native Coloradoan who grew up in Greely where her folks farmed. She worked as a K-12 substitute and taught private piano lessons for 30 years. Shirley recently published a CD titles, "Shirley Ames Favorites." Shirley has been a member of the CSU Women's Association since 1991 and has served as president two times. This is her third year as chairman of the scholarship committee and she is primarily responsible for raising over $100,000 for scholarships to deserving CSU students. "The involvement and giving has grown from one $250 scholarship per year in the 1980's to 6 $2,500 scholarships last year," Shirley says. When it comes to her future aspirations Shirley sets her sights high."

A few years ago, David and Shirley knew it was time to decide what to do in regards to developing a family trust. "When we were updating our wills and trusts," David says, "we decided we wanted to continue supporting students. We went to school on scholarships and we knew it was our time to give back." "We give toward our interests," Shirley adds. "Our giving habits stem from my interest in CSUWA and his interest in Animal sciences."

David and Shirley have always been interested in furthering education for students. "We believe in the traditional, practical students," David says. "A 3.0 is as good as a 3.9 in our book. We know many great students are busy, working students."

"We believe in education period. Students are our future - they will be running the country someday," David says. "Everyone needs to consciously think about what they want their legacy to be – what is important to them and what needs to be supported."