Please visit DU’s COVID-19 website and subscribe to @uofdenver Twitter for updates regarding COVID-19.

TRANSFORMING THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE

Collaboration + Laboratory = Collaboratory

The Collaboratory is a networking center where students in the Burns School will learn by connecting, engaging and interacting with DU alumni and real estate and construction professionals from anywhere in the world without leaving campus.

It will make the difference between students who have simply earned a degree and those who can hit the ground running to bring greater value and readiness to the companies and agencies they go to work for.

Who better to demonstrate the effect and influence the built environment has on the learning environment and student experience than the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management?

Above: The Liquid Galaxy is a key feature designed to encourage innovation, collaboration, communication and creative problem solving in an age of information and ever-changing dynamics.

THE EXTRAORDINARY VISION

In September 2013, as Barbara Jackson, PhD, took the helm as director of the Burns School, she began meeting with recent alumni from the program who had been working in the industry for 1–8 years. One of the common themes, especially among those who had graduated, worked for a number of years, and were now starting their own companies, was the desire to better connect with seasoned alumni. Many mentioned that starting a new company was “scary business,” and they all recognized the value that having greater access to experienced professionals would provide.

Consequently, Dr. Jackson started meeting with more senior alumni, particularly donors who had supported the program over the years. In one such meeting, the donor, reminisced about what he would have given to have had access to the “wisdom” of veteran professionals when he was trying to navigate the trials and tribulations of the business and avoiding pitfalls over the years. It was in that conversation that the idea of the Collaboratory was born.

WE BELIEVE IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE STUDENT AT A TIME

BARBARA JACKSON, PhD


"One of the best ways to prepare students for real world challenges and stimulate the development of real world solutions is to give them access to the expertise and wisdom that exists among our alumni and their 'school of hard knocks' experiences. The Collaboratory provides ready access to this invaluable wealth of experience and a front row seat to the real world."

DEAN VIVEK CHOUDHURY, PhD


"The M.J. Crean Collaboratory at the Burns School fits perfectly with our goal of developing graduates who are technologically and analytically savvy with hands-on experience on the latest technologies and tools.

"The Collaboratory will be a national benchmark for state of the art, technology-enabled education in real estate and the built environment. In addition, it will allow our students to interact with and learn from leading industry professionals around the world, commensurate with Daniels’ vision of real-world, experiential education. I am very enthusiastic about seeing the Collaboratory built and implemented at Daniels."

MICHAEL CREAN, PhD


"The Collaboratory is an ideal venue for leaving a legacy to both my mother and to the Burns School, where I spent 44 years of my professional life and career as a professor."

When the concept of a Collaboratory was conceived, the Burns School had received a generous donation from Nello Gonfiantini, who gave the money to honor the impact that Professor Mike Crean made on him while Nello was a student at the University of Denver. Mike promptly stated that instead of having the Collaboratory named after him, he wanted it named after his beloved mother, Marion J. Crean, herself a visionary in her time who had such an impact on his  life growing up.

MARION J. CREAN


Marion J. O’Keefe Crean was not a typical young woman growing up in the 1930s. She was an avid athlete who channeled her unharnessed spirit and love of competition to excel in baseball, tennis, basketball and track. It was her fierce determination, independence, openness, honesty and take-charge attitude that mentored her sons Mike and his three younger brothers after their father died.

It is fitting that these same qualities are what we at the Burns School will ignite in the students who will be using the Collaboratory to discover solutions to all kinds of real estate and construction challenges, all the while exploring career paths and opportunities under the tutelage and encouragement of industry advisors and alumni.

NELLO GONFIANTINI III


"If it weren’t for Mike Crean and the Burns School, I would have never gone into real estate, and real estate has been very good to me. I started the Collaboratory Endowment to honor “Crean” in a way that will serve generations of DU students to come.

"If he impacted your life like he did mine, then I hope you will become a contributor to this larger-than-life space to honor a larger-than-life guy."

4
5

CONNECTING LIKE NEVER BEFORE

YOUNG MINDS + TECHNOLOGY + WISDOM

Key Features

Five key features combine to make the Collaboratory a unique and vital space for learning and growth in the 21st century.

ADVISOR NETWORK CONFERENCE ROOM

The Marion J. Crean Collaboratory will be equipped with technology that allows students to connect to a network of “advisors” located any place in the world. Students will utilize a variety of online meeting and web conferencing and collaboration tools such as GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

LIQUID GALAXY

This amazing feature will allow students and alumni to explore the planet by engaging in a wraparound chamber of multiple LCD screens providing a truly immersive experience of panoramic images, video, tours and much more—all at users’ fingertips in seconds.

BLUESCAPE INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL WORKSPACE WALL

Bluescape is a continual interactive virtual workspace where much of our classroom engagement will take place, engaging students both live in class and virtually from anywhere in the world. It’s designed to accelerate decision making by enabling anyone to create, communicate, visualize, organize and strategize virtually anything, anywhere, any time.

INSPIRATION STAGE

This is a Ted-Talk-like platform in front of the Liquid Galaxy, where special guest presenters and industry leaders will engage with students frequently throughout the year on a variety of relevant topics.

SAIPE COMMUNICATON WORKSTATION

This designated computer “benching” area is designed to allow flexibility for students to work individually without leaving the Collaboratory space. The primary intention of this workstation area is to accommodate individualized work needs while still contributing to a collaborative, team-oriented effort.

HUDDLE SPACES

These small group-seating arrangements are ideal for relaxing and participating in casual engagements and spontaneous gatherings. They’re intended to drive collaboration and innovation among students by encouraging communication and impromptu gatherings through spatial design and inviting, comfortable furnishings.

A New Kind of Classroom Made Possible by You

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY, ELEVATING RELATIONSHIPS

The Collaboratory will facilitate the connection between the wisdom and experience of seasoned real estate, property development and construction professionals with the enthusiasm, energy and imagination of our students and younger alumni—nurturing true innovation and advanced thinking among our students.

Help make the vision a reality!

COLLABORATORY PARTNERSHIPS

Naming Opportunities

These are the premier opportunities to make a high-profile gift in our state-of-the-art physical space. Your name or company name will be included in the Collaboratory feature of your choice and artistically embedded in the space—a consistent reminder of your enduring gift. Every named partner is also considered a founding partner with the acknowledgement that these legacy gifts make the Collaboratory possible. Please note that these gifts can be pledged up to a 5-year period.

01. Liquid Galaxy

$150,000

Explore the planet by engaging in a wraparound chamber of multiple LCD screens providing a truly immersive experience of panoramic images, video, tours and much more—all at the user's fingertips in seconds.

02. Advisor Network

$150,000

Designated computer “benching” area is designed to allow flexibility for students to work individually without leaving the Collaboratory space.

03. inspiration stage

$100,000

A Ted-talk like platform in front of the liquid galaxy where special guest presenters and industry leaders will engage with students frequently throughout the year on a variety of relevant topics.

04. Bluescape Wall

$100,000

A continual interactive virtual workspace where much of our classroom engagement will take place for students in live, in-class and virtually anywhere. Designed to accelerate decision-making by enabling anyone to create, communicate, visualize, organize, and strategize virtually anything, anywhere, anytime.

05. Huddle Spaces

$75,000

Small group-seating arrangements are ideal for relaxing and participating in casual engagements and spontaneous gatherings.

4
5

Become a Partner

Nothing speaks more strongly to an institution’s quality and effectiveness than those who choose to affiliate with it, and your support demonstrates your enduring commitment to our mission.

This is one of the most exciting initiatives the School has seen in our 80 years! It is our goal to break ground in spring 2021, and we thank you for your consideration in helping us get there. Donate today.

Founding Partners
$50,000

Lump sum. Founding Partners are the cornerstone of the M.J. Crean Collaboratory and will be prominently, and permanently, recognized as founders of the Collaboratory. Their gifts will be used to build out, fully equip and furnish the Collaboratory.

Founding Contributors

$10,000 x 5

Pledging 5 annual payments of $10,000 each. The first installment of Founding Contributor gifts will be used to build, equip and furnish the Collaboratory through the construction phase. Subsequent installments will be used to enhance the facility and/or support the growth of the endowment to ensure the ongoing operations of the Collaboratory into the future.

supporting partners

$25,000

Supporting Partner gifts will be used to build, equip and furnish the Collaboratory through the construction and launch phase.

Sustaining partners

$10,000

Lump sum. Sustaining Partner gifts will be used to build, equip and furnish the Collaboratory through the construction and launch phases.

Your donation of any amount is welcome and greatly appreciated.

Contact Us

Burns Collaboratory Contact Form

If you'd like to learn more about the Collaboratory or how you can get involved, please contact us. We thank you for your support of the Burns School.