Prue Kaley’s memory lives on in her gift to CSU

Prue Kaley showing a child her train garden
Prue Kaley with a preschooler from the CSU Early Childhood Center.

Prudence “Prue” Kaley was always passionate about caring for others. After graduating from Colorado State University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, Kaley became a realtor, spending her career with The Group Inc. in Fort Collins from 1980 – 2012.

In 2012, Kaley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After a long and courageous battle, she passed away on June 28, 2018. During her lifetime, Kaley was a passionate supporter of many community organizations, as well as Colorado State, where she left a legacy gift to create an endowment supporting the scholarship in her name.

“I am so grateful that her memory will live on in the very tangible way by which she is making a difference to students,” said Lise Youngblade, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Real estate career

Prue Kaley and Mark Goldrich showing kids the train garden and smiling
Children from the CSU Early Childhood Center explore the garden railroad at the home of Prue Kaley and Mark Goldrich in September 2008.

Throughout her life, Kaley was a devoted alumna and supporter of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. In 2008, she received the CSU Alumni Association’s Honor Alumna Award for the College of Applied Human Sciences (now Health and Human Sciences) for her outstanding career and contributions to the community and to CSU.

In her over 30-year career in real estate, Kaley said she used her degree to help counsel people through the stressful time of buying a house.

“For all of us, choosing a place to live and buying or selling a house is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives. My degree from CSU taught me to be a good listener,” said Kaley in an article about receiving the Honor Alumna Award in 2008. “I use the excellent skills I was taught in the program to understand, listen, and focus on people’s needs. It’s not about me, it’s about them.”

Prue Kaley and Mark goldrich smiling sitting in their garden
Prue Kaley and Mark Goldrich sitting in their garden at the ECC field trip

In 1987, Kaley married Mark Goldrich in CSU’s Danforth Chapel. Their blended family included their daughter, Kaley Goldrich, and Mark Goldrich’s two children, Shelly and Brian. Children always had a special place in Kaley’s heart. Kaley and Goldrich spent years building and cultivating their backyard garden with miniature houses and a model train set. Starting in 2007, Kaley and Goldrich sponsored field trips for children and faculty from CSU’s Early Childhood Center and their families to visit the garden and trains. There was even a scavenger hunt and a pizza lunch.

“I think my favorite memories of Prue are with her train hat on, showing excited preschoolers the train garden, and serving pizza and lemonade to a multitude of happy children, teachers, and their families.  All the while, with a big grin on her face,” said Youngblade. “She lives on in the memories and the stories we have about the Early Childhood Center field trips.  To this day, these trips remain only field trips that the ECC has taken off campus. The beauty of those memories are going to last forever.”

Prudence M. Kaley Scholarship

Prue Kaley (left), Scholarship recipient (middle), and Lise Youngblade (right) smiling in group photo
Left to right, Prue Kaley, student scholarship recipient, and Lise Youngblade at the 2007 College of Health and Human Sciences Scholarship Dinner.

In 2001, Kaley started a scholarship for HDFS graduate students, giving $1,972 annually, representing the year she graduated. The Prudence M. Kaley Scholarship is awarded to full-time graduate students pursuing a degree in HDFS who demonstrate financial need.

“I always thought I would go back to school to get my master’s, but I needed to work first and save up some money. I never fulfilled that dream, but what I didn’t do, I can now support somebody else to achieve with this scholarship,” said Kaley in a previous article in 2008.

As a part of her estate, Kaley left a gift of property to CSU to further support her scholarship.  The sale of the property resulted in a $345,000 gift to the Department of Human Development and Family Studies to create an endowment for Kaley Scholarship so that it will live on in perpetuity. Her generous gift assists students as they pursue careers to help people achieve quality of life across the lifespan.

Kaley Goldrich (left) Wyatt Dennis (second to left) Shelly Goldrich (second to right) and scholarship recipient smiling in a group photo at the 2019 scholarship dinner
Left to right, Kaley Goldrich, Wyatt Dennis, Shelly Goldrich, and the Prue Kaley Scholarship recipient at the 2019 Scholarship Dinner.

“Her gift is really profound. It endows her scholarship, but at a very significant level so we will be able to help that many more students, forever,” said Youngblade. “The part that’s so beautiful is that her scholarship supports students to pursue their HDFS graduate degrees in areas that she was most passionate about: along the lifespan from early childhood to healthy aging. Human development and family studies is about the circle of life.”

Youngblade continued, “Prue supported our youngest Rams at the Early Childhood Center, and she taught us about the end of life through the courage and grace she showed when facing Alzheimer’s. It is truly inspirational to know that her gift will continue to support students preparing for careers in these areas. And, because of her generosity, her impact will live on in perpetuity.”

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.