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One Student’s Passion Becomes His DU Legacy

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University of Denver

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Jacob Del Hierro

Jacob Del Hierro was always looking out for others. Whether it was encouraging fellow students to pursue their business ideas, sitting on the DU Diversity Committee, or participating in the Volunteers in Partnership program and Excelling Leaders Institute, Jacob had a passion for serving others, especially those less fortunate than him. A new endowed fund that bears his name will continue that legacy for generations of future students.

Jacob died tragically in April 2020 of an accidental overdose. His father, Chris Del Hierro (MAS ’11), his greatuncle Joey, and many others came together in the wake of Jacob’s passing to create a fund at DU that would honor him and benefit the types of students and organizations that meant the most to him.

“We saw a huge outpouring of support from the community—a lot of microdonations that are a testament to what Jacob left in the world,” said Del Hierro. “The funds from this scholarship will go to students from underrepresented backgrounds, helping them with books, transportation, or whatever they need to thrive at DU.”

More than 200 donations averaging $250 each boosted the fund to the endowed level within six weeks of its establishment, meaning the fund will benefit DU students in perpetuity. Four of Jacob’s friends – Maya Bhowmik, Josue Rodriguez, Sedak Puri, and Victoria Kaufman – played a significant role in the swift creation of the fund, alongside numerous DU staff members.

Chris Del Hierro and his family hope that the Jacob Del Hierro Memorial Endowed Fund will help provide motivation and resources for students, as well as a reminder of the importance of mental health. “Everyone has struggles, but no one should have to endure that challenge alone. Reach out when you need help, and know that help is available,” he said.