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Large donation to honor retiring college professor, fund scholarships

April 26, 2016 Updated: April 26, 2016 at 8:31 pm
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Steve Janke, Professor of Mathematics and author of his second book "Mathematical Structures for Computer Graphics."

A $5.6 million donation from an anonymous donor will honor a retiring professor and help support financial aid at Colorado College.

Of the gift, $2.5 million will pay for a chaired professorship established in honor of mathematics and computer science professor Steven Janke. He joined the faculty in 1975 and is retiring next month.

The money also will provide $3.1 million in financial aid for students to attend the private, liberal arts college north of downtown Colorado Springs.

"When I was a student at Colorado College, Steven Janke changed everything," the unidentified donor said in a statement. The donor, who graduated from CC in 1982, added: "I had not been a successful math student, and he helped me regain my confidence. He also piqued my interest in computer science. His advice and encouragement shaped my career."

Janke said in a statement that the donor "is essentially saying that math and computer science are worth the investment."

Initially hired as a statistician, Janke was tapped to teach the department's first computer science course and played pivotal roles throughout the department's history. Computer science became an emphasis of study in 1989 and a major in 2005.

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