The Richard E. Dakin Fund

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College scholarships in cybersecurity

Created in honor of the late co-founder of Coalfire, the Richard E. Dakin Fund at The Denver Foundation is supporting scholarship programs at several universities for promising college students studying cybersecurity and related fields. Many affiliated with Coalfire will recall Rick Dakin’s tragic passing in the summer of 2015, after which leaders from various cybersecurity companies sought to honor his pioneering legacy. The fund was set up and announced before the end of that year.

By supporting today’s emerging thinkers, the Dakin Fund is hoping to ensure that cybersecurity and related fields will remain robust and consequential areas of study.

How it works

The Dakin Fund broadly supports non-profit organizations with a focus on cybersecurity education. Last year, the Fund provided support for scholarship programs at several universities that have demonstrated excellent cybersecurity curricula and significant investments in the field:

  • The University of Washington
  • The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • The University of Denver
  • Cascadia College

The fund is managed by the Denver Foundation, which works directly with Coalfire each year on planning and awarding. Each university administers their own scholarship application process, and to date several promising graduate students have received awards in Rick Dakin’s honor. The Fund is honored to have support from Rick’s extensive network of industry colleagues, friends and family.

About Rick Dakin

Rick Dakin co-founded a cybersecurity company, Coalfire, in 2001 alongside president Kennet Westby and executive vice president Alan Ferguson. Rick’s passion, vision and dedication for creating a lasting company redefined cybersecurity.

Prior to founding Coalfire, Dakin was president of Centera Information Systems, an e-commerce and systems integration firm. He also served as a past president of the Denver chapter of the FBI’s InfraGard program. His professional commitment was only overshadowed by his compassion, friendship and good will.

"Rick was a visionary in cybersecurity,” says Larry Jones, Coalfire CEO. “This fund will help further the industry by providing individuals with access to cybersecurity-focused educational resources."

Dakin was a U.S. Military Academy graduate, and those who knew him closely say that his greatest love, despite remarkable business success, was always family.

About the Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver and beyond. In 2014, the foundation and its donors awarded more than $67 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community, and managing about 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit,

To contribute

To donate to the Richard E. Dakin Fund, checks can be made payable to “The Denver Foundation: Richard E. Dakin Fund” and mailed to 55 Madison Street, 8th Floor, Denver, CO 80206. For wire transfers or information about making a stock contribution, please contact The Denver Foundation.