April 8, 2024

Supporting Native American Culture by Giving to DU

Dan (BSBA ’63, JD ’72) and Beth Whittemore have long demonstrated their commitment to Native American culture both through their work with the community and through their philanthropy.

When they lived in Phoenix, Beth was a member of the Phoenix Indian Center Board, working with urban Indians — Indians who had come from the reservations and needed help integrating their lives in an urban setting. She also worked for Arizona’s Medicaid system, which partnered with the Indian Health Service.

“We understand how important it is for Native Americans to retain their own identity,” Dan says. “They want to retain their ceremonies and customs to keep their culture alive.”

The couple’s support of the Native American community extends to their philanthropy at DU. They established several scholarships to assist Native Americans studying at DU, both in Sturm College of Law and in Daniels College of Business. The scholarship in Sturm is intended, the Whittemores say, for Native Americans to learn the legal system and “utilize the law to address legal issues facing Indians and tribes”—including water and land rights. The scholarship in Daniels supports Native American and Indigenous students studying accounting. Dan, his twin brother, his second brother, and their father all graduated from DU’s accounting program.

“Our satisfaction was finding an area where we could contribute to the indigenous people,” Dan says. “We’re very interested in human rights for Indians, so the endowed scholarship seemed like a perfect fit. It will continue in perpetuity.”