Alumna Makes a Difference for the University and Education Statewide
Diane Messamore, JD, a 1973 alum of the Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, is a master of networking and making connections.
Messamore selected CU Denver for its convenience to allow her to go to school at night while working days. Once she earned her bachelor’s degree, she moved into the professional field where she’s still currently working: pensions, employee benefits and actuarial consulting. She jokes that in her field you need to be something that starts with an “a”--an actuary or an attorney.
She decided to pursue the latter because it enabled her to work days and continue to go to school at night. Her firm paid for her to study at the University of Denver, where she earned her juris doctorate. She successfully balanced working, going to school and being a mother to two children, all full-time.
Learning to balance her life served her well and laid the groundwork for her to give back to her community. Upon receiving advice from a mentor to select two charitable causes to which she could dedicate her resources and energy outside of work and family, she determined to make CU Denver and The Denver Mile High Rotary Club her causes. “I worry about the future of education with the deterioration of funding,” she says, “so I wanted to give back to CU Denver and Rotary to see if I could help make a difference.”
She joined the CU Denver alumni board in 1991 and became president her third year. And even when her term was up, she continued to volunteer on an ad hoc basis. She credits the alumni association with teaching her about the importance of process and how to run advisory boards—skills that she has used throughout other areas in her life, but especially with Rotary and at Buck Consultants where she currently is managing principal.
Knowing that she had a reputation for being a dedicated advocate for education and always achieving results in the work she did for the alumni association, last year Dean Daniel J. Howard tapped Messamore to sit on the CLAS Dean’s Advisory Council. “Diane immediately came to mind as we discussed potential members of the council,” says Dean Howard. “Her dedication to the university and her ability to get things done are legendary.”
Now in her 20th year with Rotary, an organization that dedicates much of its mission to education and job training, she has created some amazing opportunities to link her passions for business and community outreach with education and CU Denver. “My objectives are simple,” says Messamore. “Collaborate with, assist and investigate the efforts of CU Denver to communicate with the business community for mentoring, PR, fundraising and general good will.”
This past spring Messamore organized and moderated a successful panel event where she convened community business leaders who talked to a full house of students about the importance of networking and making connections. Afterward, the students had the opportunity to meet with those Denver business leaders, an experience that was well-received. Graduate student Michael Hering says, “It gave me the chance to network for future job openings, as well as meet some industry leaders. It gave me valuable insight, preparing me for the world after graduation."
Messamore is currently working on an initiative to create mentoring opportunities for CU Denver students and alumni to connect with downtown business leaders.
Messamore’s advice for students: “CU Denver is right across Speer Boulevard from a thriving business community. Use that proximity to your advantage. Take every opportunity to meet and mingle with the business community to promote your education and your career potential.”