Planned Giving

Dr. Hal Nees: Creating a Legacy of Hope

Dr. Hal NeesA place of hope. That's what Professor Hal Nees-and one of the early Roadrunners-calls Metropolitan State University of Denver. It's also why he and his wife named MSU Denver in their will.

Nees' history with the University started in the 1970s when he arrived fresh from two years with the Boulder Police Department "working the street after just two hours of training."

"It was a little scary," he says. "I learned I wanted a career in law enforcement but realized I needed more information." He earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice while working full time and attending MSU Denver part-time.

That work-while-enrolled ethic, familiar to so many Roadrunners, eventually led Nees to a doctorate in 1986. He has served as Durango's chief of police and as director of 100 employees at a Boulder County agency providing pre-trial/treatment programs for adults and juveniles.

Along the way, he also began teaching criminal justice part-time at MSU Denver, eventually becoming a full professor. He served four years as Faculty Senate president and two years as faculty trustee on MSU Denver's Board of Trustees before retiring in 2011.

Nees and his wife Sally are proud to have created a legacy at MSU Denver, which they believe "helps the community and the whole state."

"MSU Denver offers people a chance to improve themselves, offers people an opportunity to rebuild their lives," says Nees, whose legacy will establish scholarships for criminal justice and criminology students. "It feels good to help here."

To learn how you can join Hal and Sally and create your own legacy, contact Kyle Backlund in the Planned Giving Office at 303-615-2040.