The Reisher Scholars Program at The Denver Foundation was established in 2001 at University of Northern Colorado and Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since the program’s beginning, four additional schools have been added:  University of Colorado at Denver in 2003, University of Colorado Springs in 2009, Colorado State University in 2012 and Colorado Mesa University in 2014.

(photo: University of Northern Colorado Reisher Scholars, Fall 2016)

Roger and Margaret Reisher came from backgrounds of modest means and were the first in their families to go to college. Feeling strongly that education improved both of their lives; they were thus motivated to help others achieve that goal. 

Having grown up on a small farm in western Nebraska 30 miles east of Wray, Colorado, Roger did not expect to go to college. However, service in the Army at the end of World War II gave him GI Bill benefits allowing him to obtain an accounting degree from the University of Colorado in 1950. This led to a job as an assistant bank examiner, starting him on an exciting and rewarding 60-year career in banking.

Roger and Margaret met in Kansas City, where their daughters, Mary and Nancy, were born.  In 1963, the allure of the Rocky Mountains prompted Roger to join investors as president of their new bank in Lakewood, Colorado. That bank, now known as FirstBank, was later to become the lead bank in the successful FirstBank Holding Company. FirstBank has prospered over the years with the growth of the Colorado economy. It is now the largest locally owned banking organization in Colorado with over $16 billion in assets.
As stockholders, the family has shared in the company’s success and feels it is appropriate to support and fund the scholarship program. They look forward to expanding the program in coming years with the help of The Denver Foundation.

Click here to read about the Reisher's in "One Family's Generosity and One Bank's Legacy" from the Fall 2012 Give Magazine.