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Joy S. and Franklin L. Burns Papers

Identifier: M500


This collection contains the papers of Joy S Burns and Franklin L Burns, an influential Denver couple who worked often with DU, including a donation to create the Franklin L Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, and Joy Burns' tenure as one of our longest-serving Board of Trustee members.


  • Other: Date Not Yet Determined

Biographical / Historical

Joy Steelman Colwick Burns (1927-2020) and Franklin Lane Burns (1914-1997) were married in 1960.

Franklin L Burns was a Denver native, graduating from East High School, and enrolling at DU for two years as a pre-med student. He eventaully dropped out of school in 1940 to join his uncle's real estate business, taking over presidency after his death, and was active in local home builder organizations. With a donation of $5M, the University of Denver formed the Franklin L Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management in 1997.

Joy S Burns began volunteering with the University of Denver in 1972 with the Women's Library Association, and joined the Board of Trustees in 1981. She became the chairman of the board, the first woman to do so, in 1990-2005 and again in 2007-2009. Her name is on the building housing the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, on a plaza in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts and on the community ice arena at the Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness.


6.75 Linear Feet (6 containers)

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material relating to Joy S Burns, Franklin L Burns, and the Burns' joint work.

This collection does NOT contain material relating to the DC Burns Realty and Trust Company, which is housed in another collection: M499.


Currently this collection is arranged with one series: Awards and Commendations. More series will be added as more material is collected and processed.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428