Skip to main content
Sign In
 

University History

Origins of an urban campus

For more than a century, the University of Colorado Denver has brought expertise, knowledge and learning to the heart of the Mile High City.

One of four campuses that make up the University of Colorado system, CU Denver originated in 1912 as an extension of the University of Colorado Boulder and gained its independence in 1973. ​


Here's a timeline of our evolution:

The School of Medicine opens in Old Main in Boulder—two professors, two students, two classrooms.

1883

The current College of Nursing is founded.

1898

Competing private schools objected and took the case to the Colorado Supreme Court, which sent clinical services back to Boulder.

1890–1910

Colorado State legislature rules the hospital can indeed have a clinical site in Denver.

1910

The University of Colorado establishes the Denver extension, offering courses in downtown Denver.

The Denver and Gross Colleges of Medicine in Denver merge with CU's School of Medicine, paving the way for the permanent move to Denver.

The American Medical Association gives the newly-formed college a Class A rating.

The school offers free dispensary and treats 20,000 cases annually.

The city of Denver gives Denver City and County Hospital to CU for clinical instruction.

1912

The current Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is founded.

1913

The School of Medicine moves into a quadrangle of four brick buildings at Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

1924

Academic offerings grow to 34 programs at undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Colorado Denver Center.

1969

The current College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is established under the name, the College of Undergraduate Studies at Denver Center.

1971

On Jan. 11, 1973, lawmakers, upon proclamation of the governor, amend the state constitution to establish additional CU campuses, transforming the University of Colorado—Denver Center into the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver).

The current School of Education & Human Development is established.

The current School of Public Affairs is established.

1973

Harold Haak becomes the first CU Denver chancellor (he had become vice president in 1973).

1974

CU Denver students begin taking classes on the Auraria Campus.

1977

​CU Denver faculty, students and alumni launch a campaign and march on the Colorado State Capitol to preserve the university's sovereignty in the face of a potential merger.

1979

The current Business School is established.

The current College of Architecture and Planning is established.

1985

The current College of Engineering, Design and Computing is established.

1988

​​​The current College of Arts & Media is established.

1989

​​​​CU Denver acquires the CU Denver Building at the corner of 14th and Larimer Streets.

1990

​​​The first university of its kind in China, International College Beijing (ICB) is established between the University of Colorado Denver and China Agricultural University.

1994

​​​Fitzsimons Army base will close. Negotiations begin to create a new health sciences center.

1995

University offices move into the Lawrence Street Center on 14th Street.

2003

​​​The University of Colorado Board of Regents votes to combine the CU Anschutz Medical Campus with CU Denver for a consolidated university.

2004

​​​The new health sciences campus being built on the site of the closed Fitzsimons Army Medical Center is named the Anschutz Medical Campus in recognition of more than $90 million in donations from the Anschutz Foundation.

2006

​​​By the end of 2008, academic and research operations of all CU Anschutz Medical Campus health sciences schools and colleges have relocated to the new campus, joining the affiliated University of Colorado Hospital and Children's Hospital.

2008

​The Business School moves into its own building at the corner of 15th and Lawrence Streets.

2012

CU Denver launches a brand-new mascot, Milo the CU Denver Lynx.

2013

The Student Commons Building opens as CU Denver’s first newly built facility.

2014

CU Denver opens the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center as the first named building on campus.

2018
CU Denver

1201 Larimer Street
Denver, Colorado
303-315-5969

Map it

CU Anschutz
Medical Campus

13001 E. 17th Place
Aurora, Colorado
303-724-5000

Map it

CU South Denver

10035 S. Peoria Street
Lone Tree, Colorado
303-315-9444

Map it

​​

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.