Jamie Stanton Honored with DU's Pioneer Award

June 7, 2017

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DENVER – Paralympic skier and 2012 Willy Schaeffler Scholarship recipient Jamie Stanton earned one of 10 Pioneer Awards from the University of Denver at the 2017 Pioneer Awards Ceremony last month. 

“On behalf of the Willy Schaeffler Scholarship Fund and the rest of our family, I congratulate Jamie Stanton on this tremendous award,” Jimmy Schaeffler said. “We knew when we selected Jamie in 2012 that he would be a perfect fit for this scholarship, and would represent the fund very well at the University of Denver. Jamie actually went beyond just being a great fit, he was a rock star from the moment he began. Jamie just didn’t do things the right way, but he went beyond that. If you were judging a student in the classroom on an A-B-C scale, rarely there is that student that performs beyond an A+, and that is Jamie. We at the Schaeffler Scholarship greatly look forward to seeing all that Jamie can accomplish post-graduation.” 

The Pioneer Award is open to DU students completing their senior year as well as faculty or staff members who have been at the University for five years or more. This is one of the University of Denver's most prestigious awards and is given annually to the individual who best exemplifies the Pioneer spirit in their efforts on campus and in the local community. It is the highest honor given to undergraduate students. Recipients of the Pioneer Award demonstrate strong academic performance, leadership, community service, campus involvement, strong character and pride in the University. Denver hockey Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher was also one of the 10 to earn the award this year. 

During his sophomore year of college, Stanton earned a spot on the U.S. Paralympic alpine skiing development team in 2013-14, claiming two gold medals in his first international competition. Stanton went on to earn a spot at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. In the 2014 games, Stanton’s top finish was a sixth-place mark in the super-G competition, followed by a 13th-place finish in the super combined and a 22nd place finish in slalom. 

Most recently, Stanton competed at the 2017 World Championships, finishing fourth in slalom, 13th in giant slalom and 20th in the super-G. Last winter, the 2016 Adaptive Athlete of the Year (Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame) won three medals, two silvers and one bronze, at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup men’s standing slalom competition. 

Stanton, whose right leg was amputated when he was six months old, competed on the Rochester Adams High School golf and ski teams, serving as captain for both teams as a junior and senior. Stanton won the Michigan Adaptive Sports Skiing State Championship in both 2011 and 2012. He also finished fourth at the 2012 Michigan High School Sports Association Skiing State Championship Qualifier, but he bypassed the State Championship in order to compete in the national Huntsman Cup in Park City, Utah, where he won both slalom and giant slalom to claim the overall championship. 

Stanton maintained a 3.5 grade point average while balancing after school athletics and significant community involvement, including work with AmpuTeam, Students Giving Back and Special Opportunities for Amputee Rehabilitation (SOAR). 

About The Willy Schaeffler Scholarship Fund  

The Willy Schaeffler Scholarship Fund (WSSF) at the University of Denver began in 1986 as a movement to honor the late, great, DU, Olympic and U.S. Ski Team coach Willy Schaeffler. The WSSF was initiated by his son, Jimmy, who received early help implementing the program from Willy himself, as well as from several former DU athletes, friends of Willy and friends of DU. 

Schaeffler coached DU to 13 NCAA Championships from 1951-1973, while serving as the Director of Skiing Events for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. The former Denver head coach also organized the first-ever amputee ski program, which started at Arapahoe Basin in 1968 as a joint effort between the Denver Children’s Hospital and the U.S. Army’s Fitzsimmons Medical Center.   

Willy Schaeffler met the one and only Walt Disney at the 1960 Winter Olympics. Disney later hired Schaeffler to build two ski areas in California called Mineral King and Independence Lake. Walt Disney’s daughter and son-in-law, Ron and Diane Disney Miller, have been huge donors in the early years of the scholarship, donating $75,000 in the 1980s. The Disney and Miller families remain among the Schaeffler Scholarships’ most ardent supporters. 

The purpose of the WSSF is twofold. First, it endeavors to assist a disabled scholar-athlete, preferably a competitive skier, in his or her efforts to study at the University of Denver and abroad. Second, it is meant to recognize and honor Willy Schaeffler's many years of profound dedication and contributions to people in the world of sport, and to carry on Willy's exemplary tradition, including a foremost dedication to academic performance. 

Set up as an endowment fund, the WSSF provides tuition, and room and board costs for a recipient in need of financial assistance, allowing him or her to attend DU for four years, plus an additional year at a university in a country where a foreign language is spoken. 

Willy Schaeffler Scholarship Fund Recipients

Carol Oakleaf: 1987-1992

Louie Bucud: 1992-1997

Robby Shelton: 1997-2002

Allison Jones: 2002-2007

Nick Catanzarite: 2007-12

Jamie Stanton – 2012-17 

The Willy Schaeffler Scholarship Fund includes a DU Varsity skiing scholarship and a Norwegian endowed scholarship. The Norwegian scholarship is set aside for a disabled scholar athlete from Norway who wishes to attend the University of Denver.   


To donate to the Willy Schaeffler Scholarship Fund, click here. 


For all Denver Athletics ticket inquires, call 303-871-GOAL (4625).   

Fans interested in making a donation to the Pioneer Movement Annual Fund can do so by clicking here. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence. 


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