Naropa Magazine Spring 2014
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Forty years of building community
Photo: Marc Piscotty

Forty Years of Building Community

By Lisa Birman, MFA

Arapahoe Campus students are enjoying the new sense of community offered by the all season pavilion connecting the Performing Arts Center and Sycamore Hall. Providing a welcoming environment for PAC audiences, the pavilion is a much-needed expansion of student lounge space and the Naropa Café. Recycled material and passive sunlight were incorporated to make the space environmentally sustainable, and with additional fire safety precautions and an ADA­–compliant ramp, it also provides practical infrastructure updates.

We’re grateful for the generosity and commitment of alumna and trustee Pamela Krasney (MA, 1983) in bringing this vision to fruition. “She’s not so well known to many people in this community, but you can’t walk around Naropa without seeing the results of her generosity and energy,” says President Chuck Lief. “She has been a cheerleader for a university that doesn’t have a cheerleading squad…. She’s the ultimate example of what generosity means, and that’s been the case now for more than thirty years.”

Pamela was living in Taos, New Mexico, when she received a flyer from the Rocky Mountain Dharma Center (now Shambhala Mountain Center) about a weeklong retreat with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. At the end of the week Pamela knew she had met her teacher. She drove back to Taos to pack up her belongings and moved to Boulder with her daughter. She started volunteering with Naropa’s Development and PR offices in 1974, and, as she recalls, “I just kept volunteering.” After completing her master’s degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy, Pamela moved to California, but kept her connection to Naropa, joining the board in 1986.

Pamela credits her belief in the founder’s vision and the relationships she has made with staff, students, faculty, and board members for her forty-year commitment to Naropa. “I never ever thought of backing out, even during the difficult years,” she says. “The heart and soul is incredibly special, and I feel that Naropa is finally blossoming out into the bigger world.”

With her dedication to Naropa’s Development Committee as strong as ever, Pamela is ready for whatever comes next. “I love to help get projects going and find other donors to join me in building a Naropa for the future.”

Share how Naropa found you on our new blog, The little blue flame.