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12:00 AM

New Scholarship for Cybersecurity

Richard Dakin Fund scholarship empowers the next generation of experts

The University of Denver joins a prestigious group of schools, including the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the University of Washington, as the latest recipient of a scholarship endowment through the Richard E. Dakin Fund at The Denver Foundation. Rick Dakin was a cybersecurity visionary who co-founded Coalfire, a Denver-based cybersecurity firm with offices throughout the United States and the UK. After his tragic passing in the summer of 2015, colleagues, friends and family set up the fund in his memory to support scholarship programs for promising college students studying cybersecurity and related fields at universities leading in the field.

“Rick was trained at West Point and valued the power of education to make a difference in a life and in the community,” said Alan Ferguson, co-founder of Coalfire along with Kennet Westby and Dakin. “Early on, he saw the growth opportunities in the cybersecurity world and felt that this was an area where individuals could have a real impact and launch successful careers.”

A projected 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs are expected globally by 2019 and cybersecurity experts predict the number of jobs in cybersecurity will grow 121% in the next five years. In Colorado alone, the Denver Post estimates there are currently 10,000 unfilled positions. Anticipating the need for an expertly trained workforce, the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver launched its one-year, cybersecurity master’s program in 2016 and is designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Through this partnership with the Dakin Fund and The Denver Foundation, Rick’s legacy will live on through cybersecurity education, ” said JB Holston, dean of the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. “We are grateful for this innovative investment that will create opportunities for exceptional students. ”

The $50,000 gift from the Richard Dakin Fund at The Denver Foundation was matched through DU’s Momentum Challenge scholarship program to provide a total of $100,000 to establish a scholarship endowment for the MS in Cybersecurity program. The first scholarship at DU will be awarded in fall 2017.