Benson honored by Denver Zoo

CU president’s longtime service, contributions inspire renaming of popular exhibit
Benson honored by Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo's Craig Piper with Marcy Benson and Bruce Benson.

CU faculty and staff are likely to come across a familiar name while exploring the wilds of the African Savannah at the Denver Zoo. The zoo on Monday renamed its award-winning exhibit that features lions, hyenas and African wild dogs the Bruce D. Benson Predator Ridge, in honor of the CU president and longtime Denver Zoo advocate.

“Bruce Benson has had a profound impact on Denver Zoo’s innovative leadership in education, conservation and exhibits,” said Katie Schoelzel, chairman of the zoo’s board of trustees. “He also is a dedicated philanthropist who has made tremendous investments in Denver Zoo and so many other worthy organizations in our community.”

Benson spearheaded the 1999 Zoo Improvement Bond Campaign that enabled the development of the zoo’s parking garage as well as exhibits including Predator Ridge. He successfully led efforts to update the zoological foundation’s cooperative operating agreement with the city and county of Denver and helped form the Colorado Zoological Trust that manages the zoo’s endowment, among other contributions.

An Honorary Life Trustee of the Denver Zoological Foundation, Benson served as chairman of the board from 1997-2000 and on the executive committee for 15 years. He continues to serve as counsel and adviser to the foundation’s board of trustees.

“Bruce helped us accomplish tremendous things in support of our mission to secure a better future for both wildlife and people by encouraging our board and staff to think creatively and act boldly,” said Denver Zoo President and CEO Craig Piper.

The new name was unveiled with Benson, his wife, Marcy, their family and close friends attending, as well as CU regents Steve Bosley, Sue Sharkey, Michael Carrigan and Irene Griego, CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Rick Lawrence, president of the CU Foundation.

For more photos from the event, click here.