The University of Colorado Denver proudly celebrates its 40th anniversary. Since state legislation made it an independent university in 1973, CU Denver has grown from a few classrooms in an old tram car barn to a complete and dynamic urban campus, serving more than 14,000 students and awarding more graduate degrees than any other institution in Colorado. This year—through special events, commemorative displays, new building ground-breaking, a retro-themed Block Party and even a brand-new mascot—we celebrate 40 years of high-quality education in the heart of downtown Denver.
Do you remember 1973?
The hippie look was out, the disco look was in and Richard Nixon was president. "American Graffiti" filled the silver screen, and Roberta Flack and Diana Ross ruled the radio waves. The first Watergate trial had just begun, the Vietnam War was winding down and Roe v. Wade
was heating up.
That year, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts broke ground on the performing arts complex. Denver Public Schools were ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to completely desegregate. Pat Schroeder became Colorado’s first woman delegate to the U.S. Congress. The Broncos posted the first winning record in their 14-year history.
At the corner of 15th and Lawrence Streets ...
Students and faculty gathered in the old Denver Tramway Corporation Building each weekday evening. Studying, discussing and learning from one another, they were creating a culture of higher education in downtown Denver.
On January 11, 1973, lawmakers, upon proclamation of the governor, amended the Colorado Constitution to establish the separate CU campus in Denver. Since then, faculty and administrators have worked hard to maintain the university's independence and secure its position as Denver's source for high-quality public education in an urban setting.
- 6,872 students enrolled
- 295 faculty members
- 74 degree programs
- 14,271 students enrolled
- 999 faculty members
- 90 degree programs
Building on 40 years of progress
Back then, students of many ages—many of them with full-time jobs—pursued degrees, built skills and enriched their lives at CU Denver. Today, they do all of that while getting a rich college experience that includes student clubs
, study abroad opportunities
and a brand-new university mascot
Today, CU Denver ...
- Houses eight schools and colleges, including the state's only college of architecture and its largest grad schools for business and education.
- Serves a diverse student body, with students of color comprising 30 percent of undergrads.
- Offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and minors.
- Awards more master's degrees than any other public institution in Colorado.
Remembering the milestones
The current College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
is established under the name, the College of Undergraduate Studies at Denver Center.9
An amendment to the state constitution establishes 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.1
Harold Haak becomes the first CU Denver chancellor (he had become vice president in 1973).2
CU Denver students begin taking classes on the Auraria Campus.3
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.4
The current Business School
The current College of Arts & Media
CU Denver acquires the CU Denver Building at the corner of 14th and Larimer Streets.5
University offices move into the Lawrence Street Center at 14th Street.12
The University of Colorado Board of Regents votes to combine the Anschutz Medical Campus
with the Denver Campus
for a consolidated university.6
The Business School moves into its own building
at the corner of 15th and Lawrence Streets.11
The university breaks ground on the new Academic Building at the corner of Larimer Street and Speer Boulevard.
The university launches a brand-new mascot, Milo the CU Denver Lynx.10