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Myhren Generosity Benefits the Student Experience Across Campus

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Sarah Satterwhite

Senior Editor, Strategic Content and Storytelling

Announcement  •
Vicki and Tryg Myhren

For more than 30 years, students and programs across the University of Denver have felt the impact of Trygve (Tryg) and Vicki Myhren’s leadership and philanthropy. From women’s and men’s athletic teams, to the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, to the Vicki Myhren Gallery at the School of Art & Art History and more, their giving has touched virtually every area of campus. The Myhrens’ most recent gift carries forward that legacy, investing $1 million in mission-centered priorities spanning the campus and benefiting students well into the future.

”The University of Denver is deeply grateful to Tryg and Vicki Myhren,” said Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “With the leadership, generosity and support like the Myhrens’, DU’s students are better able to pursue lives of purpose and meaningful careers; they are better able to become the leaders the world needs.”

Reflecting their commitment to students’ holistic development, a significant portion of the Myhrens’ gift supports the 4 Dimensional Student Experience. The 4D Experience is a transformational initiative, led by Haefner, combining curriculum, life skills, experiential learning, and immersion in the natural world to prepare students for lives and careers of purpose. The 4D Experience fosters: 1) Intellectual curiosity, thinking, and reasoning; 2) Professional identity, skills, and networking abilities; 3) Physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being; and 4) Character exploration, integrity, and respect for others.

“I believe that the 4D Experience will further differentiate DU as an institution that truly prepares its students to meet our challenging new world,” said Tryg. “It will require critical thinking and problem solving in the real world as well as in the Academy, molding graduates of firm character and confidence.”

The Myhrens’ gift also helps secure the Vicki Myhren Gallery through endowment and operating support for DU’s principal visual arts exhibition venue. Established in 2001 in honor of Vicki (BFA ’00), a lifelong lover of the visual arts, the gallery gives DU students and the Denver community access to vibrant spaces for engagement with art and artists.

“Our hope has been to establish a gathering place for students, faculty and the community while creating a ‘destination’ gallery as an important link for collaboration with other arts organizations throughout Colorado,” said Vicki. “We have been particularly pleased with the work of Geoffrey Shamos during this restrictive pandemic time, using the space to expand DU’s distanced classroom inventory while still creatively mounting remarkable exhibits which have obtained local, national and even international notice.”

Tryg and Vicki have been involved with the University for decades. Tryg is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, serving more than 24 years as Trustee, five as Chair. He also serves on the Social Science Foundation Board at the University’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and received the school’s prestigious Humanitarian Award in 2012. In addition to Vicki receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from DU, their son Erik Myhren (MA Education ’03), the 2012 recipient of DU Alumni Association's Ammi Hyde Award, and son-in-law Bruce Rifkin (BSBA ’79), a significant supporter of DU lacrosse, are alumni, and granddaughter Lacey Rifkin is a current student.

Tryg is president of Myhren Media, Inc., a Denver-based private management and investment firm concentrating in media and telecommunications. Tryg was a pioneer in cable and communications fields as Chairman and CEO of American Television and Communications Corp., President of Providence Journal Company, and Chairman of the National Cable Television Association. He founded/co-founded Food Network, E! Entertainment, Northwest Cable News and three other cable networks, served on the Time Inc. Operating Committee, the FCC Advisory Committee on High-Definition TV, and the Cable Labs Board. Tryg was named in 2006 to the Cable Hall of Fame. He also served on the corporate boards of Turner Broadcasting, Dreyfus Founders Funds, JD Edwards, Verio, Continental Cablevision, Citizens Bank, Peapod, Spruceview Capital Partners and AdPay.

In the philanthropic and non-profit arena, Tryg serves on the boards of the Denver Art Museum and No Excuses, and is active with the Colorado Forum, the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team, and No Labels, the national bipartisan political action group. In health services, he served on the boards of National Jewish Medical Center, Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan. Tryg also played a significant role in bringing the Colorado Rockies to Denver, and he served on the board of the U.S. Ski Team and as USA Chef de Mission for the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino/Sestrierre, Italy. He was inducted into the Colorado Snow Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Vicki’s passion for art ignited as a teen in meeting iconic artists Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore in their studios. She later ran the Joseph Magnin Galleries in Denver and then established the Hamilton-Lawler Gallery. She is a member of the Denver Art Museum Marketing and Public Relations Committee.

Outside the art world, Vicki managed Safeway Stores’ “Apples for Students” program in the Rocky Mountain Region, co-chaired the Western Fantasy event for Volunteers of America, served on the Volunteers of America Steering Committee, was a Grand Marshall of the National Jewish Hospital “Beaux Arts Ball” and chaired major hunger telethons for The Food Network. Vicki also served as an instructor in the Gallery Management course at Colorado Women’s College and on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Center of Rhode Island, where she founded and chaired the Symposium on Domestic Violence.