DENVER – The National Western Stock Show has named Philip F. Anschutz the 2015 Citizen of the West, an award that recognizes those who embody the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer and perpetuate the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals.
Anschutz, entrepreneur and philanthropist, has had a major impact on many institutions in the state of Colorado. He will receive the award on January 12, 2015 at the National Western Events Center. A committee of community leaders selects the recipient. Proceeds from the event support 80 college scholarships awarded annually by the National Western Scholarship Trust.
“There is no one I know more deserving of the title Citizen of the West than Phil Anschutz,” said 2014 honoree Fred Hamilton. “He is a great guy and has done more for the city, the state and the Rocky Mountain region than any other person. His generosity and philanthropy are boundless.”
Anschutz, 74, is a native of Kansas who comes from a farming and ranching background. He founded The Anschutz Corporation in 1965. It has achieved success in the fields of transportation, natural and renewable resources, communications, lodging, sports, entertainment and real estate. He started the Anschutz Foundation in 1983 and remains chairman of its board. The Foundation’s support has been crucial to innumerable community, cultural and health-related initiatives.
Among the Foundation’s many notable efforts are contributions that led to the naming of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2006. It is one of the leading health-care facilities in the world and one of the only health-care campuses in the nation that brings together clinical, educational and research activities on one site. The campus is home to CU’s schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing and dental medicine, University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado. While the campus is still under development, a study by Sammons/Dutton LLC, an economic research firm, estimates the site at full development will consist of 18.5 million square feet, employ 44,600 people and contribute $4.3 billion in personal income and $11.5 billion in total economic output annually.
“We expect the Anschutz Medical Campus in the next five or six years will be the second largest economic generator in the Rocky Mountain Area, behind DIA.” said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.
“Phil’s vision and commitment have been transformational in making CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus a leading health-care destination where people from around the world come for the best and the latest in treatment,” said University of Colorado President Bruce Benson. “In a short time the campus has become a world leader in research and clinical care in areas including health and wellness, precision medicine, ophthalmology, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, pediatrics and others. He was also instrumental in establishing CeDAR, an outstanding facility for treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, on our campus.”
Anschutz’ philanthropic efforts go beyond health care and research. According to Tom Petrie, Chairman of Petrie Partners and founder of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum, “Phil has made significant contributions that have enriched the cultural environment of Colorado. Most notably, his establishment of the American Museum of Western Art at the iconic Navarre Building represents the greatest survey of American Western Art assembled over the past four decades. It spotlights a comprehensive array of the best works of our country’s most accomplished artists of the last 2 centuries. The AMWA is available to teach about the history of Western Art and the evolution of the American West.”
In addition to his business and philanthropic endeavors, Anschutz has served in the past on various boards and committees of charitable, civic, industry, financial and sports-related organizations.
Anschutz and his wife Nancy live in Denver.
The National Western Stock Show takes place January 10-25, 2014. Visit www.nationalwestern.com to learn more.