Colorado State University alumnus Joseph Phelps has donated a $50,000 gift to create a memorial garden on campus in honor of his brother, John, who died almost 75 years ago.
According to a CSU news release, Phelps was a young teenager when his older brother, John, was killed in a car crash while driving between his family’s home in Greeley and his college home in Fort Collins. John, an active member in the Sigma Nu Fraternity, was killed near the end of his freshman year in 1940.
Nearly 75 years after his brother’s death, Phelps is honoring his brother’s legacy with a $50,000 gift that will create the John Quincy Phelps Memorial Garden at Danforth Chapel at CSU.
Phelps, who earned his undergraduate degree in 1951 in industrial-construction management, is one of CSU’s most generous donors, supporting programs in construction management, athletics, the Alumni Association and the Morgan Library.
Construction of the garden is expected to be completed this summer.
“Joe Phelps is one of CSU’s most loyal and visionary alumni, and his influence as a donor is felt across our campus, most notably in construction management but in many other areas as well,” said Colorado State President Tony Frank in the news release. “This recent gift in support of the Danforth Chapel is particularly special, in my mind. It honors the memory of Joe’s older brother, John Quincy, and is a stirring reminder that, while a university must have great classrooms and labs, it also needs quiet places for thought, reflection and contemplation.
Frank said Danforth Chapel is the spiritual heart of campus and important to CSU’s students and faculty of many different faiths and philosophies.
“We are deeply honored that Joe has recognized this and chosen to honor his brother in this way,” Frank said.
Danforth Chapel is located at the north entrance to CSU’s Oval, and was dedicated in 1954.
“Danforth Chapel is little jewel that you have to seek out. It’s one of our most beloved buildings,” said David Hansen, the project’s lead designer for CSU’s Department of Facilities management.