Gardner Honors Retiring University of Colorado President Bruce Benson

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today spoke on the Senate floor in honor of the upcoming retirement of Bruce Benson, the President of the University of Colorado (CU) system.


Bruce Benson currently oversees four campuses of the University of Colorado system, CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and CU Boulder, and has served as President for 10 years.



NOTE: View Senator Gardner’s remarks by clicking on the photo above or here.


Remarks as prepared for delivery


Madam President, I rise today to celebrate the life and career of Bruce D. Benson.


In July, Bruce will be retiring as the President of the University of Colorado system, currently overseeing 4 campuses:  


CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and CU Boulder, the campus where I earned my law degree.


Prior to his appointment as President of the University, Bruce established himself in business, philanthropy, politics, and education.


Benson graduated from CU in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in Geology, and founded the Benson Minerals Group.


What started as a $6000 rig on the back of his truck turned into a hugely successful operation, with a reach extending into banking, real estate, and cable television.


Bruce prioritized his community and the education of others within it.


Over the next 20 years, he would serve on the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the Board of Trustees for the Metro State College of Denver, the P-20 Education Coordinating Council, and the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Higher Education for the 21st Century, all of which he chaired at one point.


Bruce was also appointed to the Board of Directors for the National Park Foundation and served on the National Endowment for the Humanities, a position that required his confirmation right here, in front of the United States Senate. 


After nearly 45 years in business, Bruce was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 2009.


Even if you don’t know the name Bruce Davey Benson, odds are, if you are a Coloradan, he has had a positive impact on your life.


He welcomed diversity in the classroom, not only in background, but also in thought.


He never wanted the University to teach people what to think, but how to think.


Bruce learned long ago that he didn’t know everything, but if you surround yourself with the best, the rest will follow.


A lot has changed in 10 years, and with it, so has the University and the state we both call home.


We don’t know where we might be today without Bruce’s fierce work ethic and drive to educate those around him, but we know the future wouldn’t be nearly as bright.


For all this, and so much more, we owe him a great many thanks.




Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.