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University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver


From two students to more than 28,000 students

Many paths have led to the current University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. The health sciences component began with the establishment of the CU School of Medicine in 1883 on the Boulder campus. The Denver Campus originated in 1912 as an extension of the University of Colorado at Boulder and gained its independence in 1973. Today, the university combination of:

  • CU Denver, a vibrant urban learning center with liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in eight schools and colleges.
  • CU Anschutz Medical Campus, located in Aurora and home to six professional schools in the health sciences and extensive research and clinical care facilities, including the University of Colorado Hospital.

Here's a timeline of our evolution:

  • 1883
    Old Main building in Boulder

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

  • 1898

    The current College of Nursing is founded.

  • 1890–1910

    The School of Medicine opens a hospital in Denver. Competing private schools objected and took the case to the Colorado Supreme Court, which sent clinical services back to Boulder.

  • 1910

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

  • 1912

    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.

  • 1913

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

  • 1924

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

  • 1969
    CU Denver Extension Center

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

  • 1971
    CU Denver Extension Center Tramway Building

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

  • 1973

    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 and Human Development is established.

    The current School of Public Affairs is established.

  • 1974
    Harold Haak, first CU Denver chancellor

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

  • 1977
    North Classroom on the Auraria Campus

    ​CU Denver students begin taking classes on the Auraria Campus.

  • 1979

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

  • 1985

    ​​The current Business School is established.

  • 1989

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

  • 1990
    CU Building, Denver Campus

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

  • 1995
    Building 500, Anschutz Medical Campus

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

  • 2003

    ​​​​​University offices move into the Lawrence Street Center at 14th Street.

  • 2004

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

  • 2006
    View of the Anschutz Medical Campus

    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.

  • 2008
    University of Colorado Hospital, Anschutz Medical Campus

    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.

  • 2009

    The University of Colorado Board of Regents vote unanimously to affirm consolidation of the health sciences and downtown campuses and the name, University of Colorado Denver.

  • 2012
    New Business School Building, Denver Campus

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

  • 2013
    Milo the Lynx, CU Denver mascot

    ​CU Denver breaks ground on the new Academic Building at the corner of Larimer Street and Speer Boulevard.

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

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