2014 Honorees

Arts and Humanities


Eleanor “Ellie” Caulkins has been a passionate and dedicated supporter of the arts, education and children’s welfare for more than 30 years. She is perhaps best known in association with the Ellie Caulkins Opera House; a fitting tribute to a woman who has devoted so much of her time and resources to ensuring grand opera is an integral part of the Denver community. Mrs. Caulkins’ influence and impact extends far beyond the scope of opera by serving as an exemplary role model in service to the arts and humanities, and the broader community.

Mrs. Caulkins’ passion for opera began with a class on opera at the University of Colorado Denver. She was hooked for life and immersed herself in learning everything about opera. This eventually led to a life-changing meeting with Nat Merrill, the renowned opera director, who approached her with the momentous idea of bringing grand opera in the round to Denver. Her enthusiasm was immediate and since then, Mrs. Caulkins has served on countless Opera Colorado committees and the Board of Directors (three times as Chairman). As a leader, advocate and contributor, Mrs. Caulkins has been instrumental in the financial and artistic success of Opera Colorado, helping the organization grow in stature regionally and nationally. Mrs. Caulkins is a Lifetime Honorary Chairman of the Opera Colorado Board of Directors. Mrs. Caulkins and her husband George were honored with the Mayor’s Cultural Legacy Award in 2006.

On a national level, Mrs. Caulkins has served in significant leadership positions on boards and committees for the Metropolitan Opera including as President of the Metropolitan Opera National Council and as National Patron Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera Association. Her dedication continues today as a member of the Met’s Board of Directors. In 2011, she was a recipient of the OPERA America National Opera Trustee Recognition Award for exemplary leadership, generosity and audience-building efforts.

Mrs. Caulkins’ commitment to education and children’s welfare is equally impassioned. She has a long and impressive history in service to Graland Country Day School, University of Colorado Foundation, the Children’s Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, serving on the Board of Directors and playing significant roles in annual fundraising and capital campaigns.

Mrs. Caulkins’ boundless energy is clearly evident in her many roles as arts patron and opera lover, philanthropist, community leader, licensed pilot, skier, mountain-climber, proud mother of five and doting grandmother of seven. She believes in the importance of participating in one’s community and has been tireless and graceful in her mission to enrich the cultural life of Denver and Colorado.

Community Service


David Greenberg’s extraordinary vision and leadership in education reform have been nothing short of transformative for Denver and Colorado. Educational inequities and low-performing urban public schools are key factors influencing Mr. Greenberg’s past and present service in support of significant reform.

Mr. Greenberg is the Founder of the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST), and was the first Board Chair of its successor organization, DSST Public Schools. Launched in 2004, the Denver School of Science & Technology focuses on STEM education and 21st century learning skills to prepare students for success in college. To date, 100% of the school’s high school graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges. The DSST Public Schools network is creating 14 middle and high schools and currently serves 3,400 students of which 65% are from low-income families. DSST has been cited by US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and others as a leading model for the teaching of STEM education in an urban setting.

Currently Vice Chancellor of Institutional Partnerships at the University of Denver, Mr. Greenberg’s impact on education reform has spanned early childhood development to K-12 to higher education. In addition to his continued commitment to the board of DSST Public Schools, Mr. Greenberg is a board member on the Governor’s Education Leadership Council, and the Keystone Center for Science & Public Policy. He has also served as a member of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, a trustee of Clayton Early Learning, Board Chair of the Children’s Museum of Denver, and Board President of the Colorado League of Charter Schools.

He is the recipient of a number of honors for work in education reform, including being named, on the occasion of the City and County of Denver’s 150th anniversary, one of Denver’s 150 Unsung Heroes. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enactment of charter school legislation in Colorado, he was honored as one of 20 Charter School Pioneers.

Mr. Greenberg was co-founder and managing partner of GBSM, a public policy and strategic communications consultancy. A graduate of Columbia University and the Harvard Law School, he was legal advisor and speechwriter to Colorado Governor Richard Lamm and served as a White House Fellow.

Through creative thinking, vision, persistence and unwavering dedication to high quality education for all, David Greenberg has changed the landscape of urban public education in Denver and beyond. As one would expect from someone so committed to young people in our community, Mr. Greenberg has also been a dedicated father to his daughter Alison and son Zach, and husband to his wife Kerri, who have all been willing to share him with his many civic leadership commitments.

Science and Medicine


Dr. David Schwartz is an internationally recognized scientist and physician, and one of the foremost experts in the genetics of pulmonary disease. He has served in leadership roles at prominent institutions across the country, has trained numerous successful physician-scientists, is widely published, and sought-after as a speaker.

Throughout his career, Dr. Schwartz has made numerous contributions toward understanding the role that biological and genetic determinants play in the onset of diseases like asthma and other chronic pulmonary diseases influenced by environmental exposures. His longstanding interest and research in the causes of pulmonary fibrosis have led to seminal discoveries that have revolutionized our understanding of this disease, and its potential treatment.

Regarded as an excellent clinician, teacher and mentor, Dr. Schwartz has been instrumental in developing training programs for physician-scientists through his leadership at National Institutes of Health and University of Colorado. He has helped to build a pipeline of physician-scientists and a framework for increased collaboration between clinicians and researchers.

Dr. Schwartz is currently the Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Professor of Medicine and Immunology at University of Colorado with appointments at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and National Jewish Health. His previous academic appointments include the University of Iowa College of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center. He served as Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program between 2005 and 2008.

His scientific and scholarly accomplishments have received national and international recognition with membership into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He received the American Thoracic Society Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award, and was named the 2013 American Thoracic Society Amberson Lecturer. He has served on several prestigious scientific review committees and educational/advisory boards, and has lectured extensively across the world. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers, 75 reviews and editorials, 50 book chapters, and a textbook.

Dr. Schwartz earned his B.A. from University of Rochester, and his M.D. from University of California, San Diego. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston City Hospital, and went on to earn his M.P.H. at Harvard School of Public Health.

Highly creative and visionary, but also rigorous in his approach to scientific problems, Dr. Schwartz has had a profound impact on the way we understand and treat several common and serious medical conditions. He has been an inspiration and role model for many. Dr. Schwartz is married to Dr. Louise Sparks and is the father of Tziporah, Kiera, and Samuel. He is an active outdoorsman and cyclist, and takes full advantage of Colorado’s natural beauty.